The Kearney Center closes to new clients in response to COVID-19

Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
March 26, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Kearney Center is no longer accepting new clients.

The non-profit, which helps provide emergency shelter to the homeless, announced Thursday that new clients will no longer be accepted as a response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The organization is now partnering with 2-1-1 Big Bend to provide case management and help to individuals and families experiencing housing issues during this crisis.

The Kearney Center will also be transitioning more than 100 current clients to individual apartments and hotel rooms in order to follow CDC guidelines on social distancing and spacing at least six feet apart.

Organization officials say the changes are meant to better provide safety and welfare of Tallahassee's more vulnerable citizens, who are on the verge of homeless during this pandemic.

"Our clients are part of our family. Many of our clients are elderly, many have health issues and all of them deserve the best this community has to offer," said Founder and CEO Rick Kearney. "We especially thank Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, Second Harvest of the Big Bend, Elder Care Services and ALSCO Inc. for helping us to plan continuation of health, food and linens as we provide our services at varied locations."

Organizers says the new partnership with 2-1-1 Big Bend will help provide ongoing emotional and emergency support for individuals and families. The organization also has a 24/7 hotline for information, referrals and counseling.

On Thursday, The Kearney Center also announced a new, 'The Kearney Center COVID-19 Fund' to help raise money for added costs related to the coronavirus. Organization officials expect it to cost an additional $100,000 every month.

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