VA Palo Alto Health Care System
VAPAHCS Opens Western Shelter
Western Shelter in Menlo Park, Calif. will house primarily homeless Veterans who test positive for COVID-19 but are in good health – or were just released from the hospital and have no place to go to. This is temporary housing for the Veterans to keep them comfortable before they can be released to other shelters or friends and family when they no longer test positive for the virus.
Western Shelter provides heated/air-conditioned rooms with cots, blankets and pillows for the Veterans – and they are allowed to stay overnight. Veterans have access to restrooms and showers, and there are also lockers for personal belongings. Licensed staff conduct temperature and symptom checks in the mornings. Medical doctors are available around the clock – daily.
Additionally, our recreation specialists visit with the Veterans twice a day, seven days a week, to provide activities for them. There is also psychology support available to them if they want to talk about their stressors.
David Renfro, Acting Deputy Associate Director for Patient Care Services and U.S. Navy Veteran who helped to lead the coordination of the Western Shelter is honored to serve those who have served.
“I'm a Veteran myself and the fact that the Executive Leadership Team at VA Palo Alto Health Care System is thinking about these types of contingencies is amazing,” said Renfro. “I don't think there's any other health care system right now that's working out these contingencies on their own grounds with their own staff. The Western Shelter program is something the VA Palo Alto can be proud of.”