The Malta Independent 6 December 2023, Wednesday
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YMCA shelter sets up quarantine room in case a resident tests positive for Coronavirus

Giulia Magri Friday, 27 March 2020, 07:51 Last update: about 5 years ago

The YMCA shelter has set up a quarantine room purposely kept empty in case there will be any COVID-19 cases in the shelter, the association’s CEO Anthony Camilleri told The Malta Independent.

“YMCA has initiated a COVID-19 precautionary procedure whereby all referrals admitted should undergo testing prior to entering the shelter. We have a quarantine room purposely kept empty in case someone tests positive, but of course this takes a toll on the shelter, as empty beds here could not be used to accept more people,” said Camilleri.


As the number of cases of COVID-19 increases, the government is advising people to stay home as much as possible, but what if you don’t have a home?

In France, the police have been fining homeless people for breaching quarantine and French organisations dealing with homeless people are calling fining people who have nowhere to go an injustice.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the issue of homelessness was a big one in Malta, with many photographs appearing on social media of people sleeping rough in areas such as Msida, Gzira and even Floriana. Last year, a total of 808 families seeking shelter were referred to the YMCA, 140 of which were accepted.

The Malta Independent spoke to the Association’s CEO Anthony Camilleri regarding the current situation the shelters are facing during this difficult time.

“Shelters are facing difficulties in these turbulent times, but we have found a lot of professional support and help from the Social Care Standards Authority and also from the Malta Council for Voluntary Organisations now and prior to this period,” said Camilleri.

In the first quarter of the year, the YMCA received 133 referrals so far, but could only accept 17 cases.

Concerns for ex-residents who gained independence but might lose it due to pandemic

He said that residents are cooperating and mostly staying inside, limiting their time outside for necessary out-of-premises appointments.

“We are mainly concerned that our community of ex-residents who have successfully moved back to independent living will not make it since most are on low-level jobs, which are at the moment closed down. Whether they will be paid or not for the time they are not working depends on the employers, this is our biggest concern,” said Camilleri.

YMCA has launched a Loneliness Response Line, as a response to the effects of COVID-19 has on an individual’s state of mind, as loneliness and solitude symptoms might arise from social alienation. The number is 99928625




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