Local shelter continues providing services to at-risk youth in Fairbanks

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The Door, a shelter for at-risk youth in Fairbanks, is adapting to the public health crisis in Fairbanks while continuing to serve vulnerable populations.

The Door has been operating at or near capacity for the last two weeks. (Photo courtesy of Fairbanks Youth Advocates)

Fairbanks Youth Advocates (FYA), the nonprofit which runs The Door, has instituted policy changes in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The shelter is no longer allowing visitors, but does continue to accept donations.

Alnise Wyles, Co-Executive Director at FYA said, “We have started to prepare a quarantine room in case one of the youth who are staying with us start showing signs of not feeling well.”

According to Wyles, no client at the shelter has displayed symptoms requiring a quarantine since the start of the outbreak. “We’ve been telling youth to be careful with their behaviors and their actions, and to also encourage them to wash their hands more.”

The Door is running a shortage of personal protective equipment, but has been able to promote health and safety measures within the building.

In order to maintain social distancing, the shelter is now allowing more freedom of movement within the building.

Wyles said that The Door has been operating at or near its capacity of 12 youth for the last couple of weeks. According to Wyles, this is unusual for the time of year, though she couldn’t be sure of the cause. “I’m not sure if it’s the youth being out of school, so maybe they’re more frequent to come to us, or if it’s the weather changes. We’re not exactly sure 'cause each kid has such a different story than the next. We’re not able to pin down exactly why we’ve had a high number the last couple weeks.”

Wyles added, “I’m really grateful to be a part of the Fairbanks community. I feel like we definitely have a good handle on it and working together as a community to try and combat this COVID-19.”

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