Homeless shelter closed while many residents fight illness

Local News

Intake at a homeless shelter in Texarkana is on hold because almost half of its residents are sick and potentially contagious. 

Officials at Randy Sam’s said the fourty-two residents who are sick have the flu, pneumonia, strep throat and bronchitis.  Some have had such high fever they’ve been hospitalized.  The outbreak started earlier this week.  

Randy Sam’s is asking for monetary donations, as well as over-the-counter cough/cold medications, bleach and fluids, such as Gatorade, to help keep the sick hydrated.  Randy Sam’s Director Helen Diggs said, “The smell of bleach in the shelter would meet you at the door.  Every available surface is getting wiped down very regular.  Everything’s getting mopped, cleaned, disinfected.”  Diggs added that so far Friday, no new illnesses have been reported.

Diggs said the shelter is in touch with the Office of Emergency Management to try to coordinate medical attention for those who need it.  

The Salvation Army said it does have beds available for those who need shelter.   

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