Breakouts At Brother Francis Shelter, McLaughlin Youth Center, Pioneer Home Continue

The Brother Francis Shelter in Anchorage is a Catholic Services social program to provide emergency shelter and services for Alaska's ho...

The Brother Francis Shelter in Anchorage is a Catholic Services social program to provide emergency shelter and services for Alaska's homeless people. It helps families who have nowhere else to go. On August 25th, 2020, the shelter received terrible news: the shelter had been infected with coronavirus. At around the same time, places all over Anchorage which have sleep-in communal residents had major outbreaks too. But, as the week passed, Brother Francis Shelter's infection rate skyrocketed. It was a terrible blow for a place that was developed to help -- not to hurt.

Brother Francis. (Wikipedia)

Brother Francis Shelter

SEPTEMBER 3RD UPDATE: By September 3rd the number of people testing positive at Brother Francis had risen to 89. The maximum capacity at the shelter is 114. The city is quarantining sick people affiliated with the shelter in Anchorage.

It started on August 25th, when twenty of the people who were being served at Brother Francis Shelter were determined to have COVID-19. One worker at the shelter also tested positive. They were placed in a special location where they can safely recover.

Only two days later, on August 27th, 60 people served by the shelter were discovered to have the virus, and people all over Anchorage -- in shelters, outdoor camps and soup kitchens -- were now being tested by the city. It's obviously a good maneuver. By August 28th, 68 people at the shelter had contracted COVID-19. And, several days later, by August 31st, 79 people affiliated with the shelter were sick. This was a massive infection of people who are truly at risk -- Alaskans in wheelchairs, or who are disabled and without any other recourse. 

Brother Francis ("Francis of Assisi") was a half-Italian, half-French young man who had started his life wealthy. He lived three hundred years before Columbus sailed to America. Although he had a lot of money, he became worried about the plight of those in need.

Anchorage Pioneer Home

Meanwhile, two residents of the Anchorage Pioneer Home for the elderly and disabled have died of coronavirus. Fourteen residents and five staff members had come down with the virus by August 31st at the live-in facility.

McLaughlin Youth Center

And at McLaughlin Youth Center, a growing number of people have become sick. By August 31st, 22 people had tested positive.

By the end of August, 2020, it was becoming abundantly clear that nursing homes, prisons or even helpful shelters for those in need are places where coronavirus easily spreads.


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