The Cookeville Rescue Mission now has a quarantine area for shelter residents potentially impacted by COVID-19.
The new quarantine area can accommodate around 12 beds. It was built in the Johnstone Supply facility located adjacent to the shelter on South Jefferson Avenue. Cookeville’s Life Church constructed the area.
“Initially, Bruce (Bailey), the director of the mission wanted enough beds to separate up to 12 persons,” Associate Pastor Jimmie Hodge said. “We’re all in this brand new. We’ve never been here before. So, we were able to design it with the social distancing in mind with the six feet apart. We were able to walk that off in their newly acquired building behind the Rescue Mission. It’s just an empty warehouse inside, and they needed somewhere to put the folks if something happened.”
Hodge said a church member who is a design engineer created the space.
“I believe it’s around 42 feet long and 16 feet deep,” Hodge said.
Life Church helping the Rescue Mission, Hodge said, makes both the mission and the church stronger. By helping a community susceptible to the pandemic, the church found a tangible way to strengthen a partner.
“If there’s anything we can try to do to help them out, we try to meet those needs,” Hodge said. “So, we just reached out to them, and said, ‘Hey, during this pandemic, is there anything extra we can be doing to help you guys out?’ Sure enough, at the same time and day, they were taking measurements to build a quarantine-type shed.”
The Cookeville Rescue Mission was founded in 1976. It is the Upper Cumberland’s oldest and largest rescue mission.
“I love the phrase ‘we love to help people who love to help people’,” Hodge said. “That goes hand-in-hand with what the rescue mission does. They do this work 365 days-a-year. It never stops, and it’s an awesome asset for Putnam County and the City of Cookeville. We want to do whatever we can to help keep that going. Being able to reach out in our community right here at home during this time, it was so important and was an exciting little project that we were able to be a part of.”
The Rescue Mission implemented COVID-19 precautions in March, separating those who are ill and encouraging shelter residents to stay in place.