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Sparrow's Nest takes extra precautions during coronavirus

Posted at 3:29 PM, Apr 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 20:29:57-04

Sparrow's Nest, a group home for Flathead unsheltered youth is taking special precautions keeping students safe during the coronavirus outbreak.

Executive director Rachelle Morehead says that with Gov. Bullock's stay at home order in place Sparrow's Nest must now be staffed 24 hours a day.

She says there are eight rooms for unaccompanied homeless teens. All teens admitted are substance-free and must come with a recommendation. Normally, staff would work in the afternoon and evenings, but Morehead told MTN News that staff must be present when the students are home.

Five students live in the home now and Morehead says every student is practicing social distancing. Each student has their own bedroom and bathroom and staff members disinfect the common areas and couches.

However, Morehead says, this increase in hours has put a strain on the staff.

"We were trying to figure out the logistics of only having staff there in the afternoon and evenings and overnights to twenty-four seven staffing because the kids are there all day long," she said

"And then, also just the strain it puts on our staff. Having to be in the house with the kids. We've heard a lot about how parents are struggling teaching their kids from home. And that's not different than the Sparrow's Nest. We're there to help them with their homework," Morehead added.

She says the students are also sewing masks for health care workers that they plan on donating as soon as they can.

One challenge is that many of the Sparrow's Nest recommendations for students struggling with home security come through the schools. Morehead explained that is because schools are closed so Sparrow's Nest is not getting referrals for students who need shelter.