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Shelters working hard to house families during coronavirus crisis

Family Promise in Phoenix says its facilities are packed, and they are expecting even more families.

PHOENIX — It's no secret that the needs of Americans everywhere are great during these tough times. While we're being asked to try and stay home as a precaution, our homeless population is turning to shelters to help them get through this.

Family Promise is one of several shelters in need of the basics and beyond as they work to quickly house as many families as possible.

Ted Taylor, the executive director of the nonprofit, told 12 News everyone is feeling the effects of COVID-19, but their mission is making sure loved ones stay together and have a place to call home even in the most challenging of times.

"It feels very calm around Family Promise right now, and we're completely packed," he said.

Taylor said they're planning for even more families to come to the facilities.

"These families don't know what to do. They don't have access to food, they don't have access to shelter, so the number one thing we can do is stay full," he said.

The interfaith shelter usually houses people through partnering churches and synagogues, but to eliminate exposure to the 180 elderly volunteers, they've turned training centers into on-site housing.

"We were never prepared to do that, so now we have to figure out how they could live within our existing facilities that weren't designed for that purpose," Taylor said.

He credits the community, local churches and Thunderbirds Charities for providing necessities for Valley families, the biggest one: beds.

"We're sleeping on blow-up mattresses and it doesn't work because the bunk beds are metal," Taylor said.

Meanwhile, Chance Cozby with Thunderbirds Charities said the community need is great, but it's figuring out where the money should go that they're still sorting out.

"I don't think the need is going to go away, and so we're trying to be very smart with how we give this money, and we just want it to get put to the best use as quickly as it can," Cozby said.

Now, Family Promise is expecting 32 brand new mattresses by next week to help give their families a safe haven as they temporarily stay at the shelter.

Taylor told 12 News other needs include the basics, bed sheets, diapers, even towels.

You can find more details here: familypromiseaz.org/how-to-help/

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