The Saratoga Springs Holiday Inn is now being used as a shelter for Saratoga’s homeless population in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The hotel, located at 232 Broadway, has agreed to house up to 40 homeless Saratogians in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus among this vulnerable population.
“Social distancing and hygiene is the only way to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Shelters of Saratoga Executive Director Karen Gregory said in a press release. “Unfortunately, people experiencing homelessness don’t have the ability to stay home. People experiencing homelessness don’t have regular access to sinks where they can wash their hands and those staying at homeless shelters can’t always remain six feet from another person. There are simply too many people and not enough space.”
Until the outbreak of COVID-19 in mid-March, Saratoga’s homeless population was housed in the seasonal Code Blue shelter located at 4 Adelphi Street. When the pandemic began to worsen, Shelter administration took preventative measures by moving many of the shelter’s inhabitants to an emergency location at the Saratoga Senior Center on Williams Street. That lasted until this past week, when Gregory and Mayor Meg Kelly approached the Holiday Inn for assistance due to growing concerns about social distancing. Holiday Inn General Manager Kevin Touhy answered the call to action, and within days, people were moved from the Senior Center to the hotel.
In the press release, Touhy expressed his commitment to aiding the local community during this turbulent time, sharing pride for being able to offer the Holiday Inn as a safe home for those in need.