It is been an ongoing conversation for years in Amarillo - how are we taking care of our homeless population? At times, the answer has been contentious between citizens and the City of Amarillo. The city has just announced that part of their response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been to move individuals needing shelter to alternative housing.

Amarillo’s Community Development Department has moved 60 individuals from the Salvation Army to alternative housing, such as hotels. The move, made possible through grant funds, helps provide adequate social distancing space at the Salvation Army. The individuals will remain in alternative housing indefinitely to help ensure public safety and the safety of individuals at the Salvation Army.

“This is a chance to help keep all of Amarillo safe in response to COVID-19,” said COA Director of Community Development Juliana Kitten. “It is also a chance to help those less fortunate as we all try to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community.”

With the move comes the need to help furnish they new dwellings. A drive-thru furniture donation drive has been scheduled on May 7 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Amarillo Civic Center. Donations can be dropped off through a drive-thru service, with health precautions in place. Items needed include bedroom furniture (wrapped queen-size mattresses and box springs, blankets and pillows), living room furniture (lamps, couches and coffee tables), kitchen ítems (silverware, plates and pans) and bathroom ítems (bath towels and shower curtains).