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Baltimore organizations team up to shelter homeless veterans during COVID-19

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Posted at 12:46 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 12:46:35-05

BALTIMORE — Two Baltimore organizations are teaming up to shelter homeless veterans battling addiction, in order to protect them from COVID-19 exposure and other elements.

The Baltimore Station is moving its entire operation including resident housing, counseling and alternative therapeutic programming, into the 380-room Crowne Plaza Baltimore-Inner Harbor Hotel.

“Our number one priority is to keep the men safe as we guide them down the road to recovery and this partnership allows us to do just that while ensuring they continue to receive critical programming and support,” said John Friedel, executive director, The Baltimore Station. “This is an operating strategy that is going to help us get through the pandemic. By taking the residents out of dormitory-style housing, we can more easily isolate individuals who may contract COVID and slow the spread if someone becomes infected.”

So far, the hotel has designated five floors to Baltimore Station.

Currently 60 residents from Baltimore Station's South Baltimore and Baker Street locations will stay at the hotel. However, there is enough room for 140 people if needed.

Baltimore Station plans to use common areas and meeting spaces on the designated floors for a variety of group therapy sessions.

This latest development continues a partnership that initially allowed newly enrolled program participants to stay at the hotel while awaiting COVID-19 testing results.

“This is a win-win for both organizations—we have the availability and they have the need. Together, through this partnership, we can give these residents a home away from home where they will remain safe and comfortable while still receiving the services from The Baltimore Station,” said Adam Novotny, general manager at the Crown Plaza Hotel. “

The Crowne Plaza remains open for regular guests during this period of time.