GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Davenport University will be offering housing to local first responders and health care workers to avoid the potential spread of COVID-19 to family members.
Both Metro Health – University of Michigan Heath and Kent County emergency personnel will be offered a student housing complex near the university starting this weekend.
“Offering our residence apartments is just one more way that we can offer support to the healthcare workers and first responders who are serving on the front lines of this pandemic.” Davenport University President Dr. Richard J. Pappas said.
The complex is capable of housing upwards of 175 people. Davenport has the space to expand beyond that, should the need reach that point.
The university says both organizations were looking for alternative housing for employees who were concerned about bringing the virus home to family members.
“We are incredibly humbled by the support that we have received from our community during the COVID19 crisis,” said Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young. “This collaboration with Davenport University, Metro Health, and Kent County Emergency Management is a clear example of leaders in our community working together to protect those we serve. We are sincerely grateful for their sacrifice and generosity.”
As of right now, no one within the Kent County Sheriff’s Department has contracted the virus, but having the resource there, should it be needed, is appreciated.
“Without fail, corrections officers, law enforcement officers, dispatchers, we’re all drawn to serve. That’s why we’re here and why we do these roles, but ordinarily, that’s a risk that you personally take and we take on and gladly do so,” the sheriff added. “This is a little different because this is a risk our families are taking on as well and we have to have a balance between. We have, definitely, a number of employees who have people who are on the at-risk list at home … This just takes one issue off their plate, as they’re considering what those ramifications for their families might be.”
Metro Health just notified their staff of the accommodations Monday morning, so it’s not yet clear if hospital employees will choose to take advantage of the alternative housing as they continue to face the virus head on.