Owensboro City commission approved a partnership with Daviess Fiscal Court and Owensboro Christian Church to host white flag events.

White flag events are declared when the temperature or the wind chill drops to 15 degrees or lower.

While St. Benedict’s Homeless Shelter was previously used for white flag events, the shelter location was changed to Owensboro Christian due to the COVID-19 pandemic and concern over space. The commission’s approval of the partnership on Wednesday set the new location and services in stone.

St. Benedict’s Director Harry Pedigo said the decision was made to move the emergency shelter to Owensboro Christian because people will be able to better social distance there, and because St. Benedict’s doesn’t have the volunteer staff to assist during white flag events.

While the location for white flag sheltering has changed, those in need of the service will still have access to free transportation to Owensboro Christian located at 2818 New Hartford Road through city buses, and boxed meals will be provided by the Daniel Pitino Shelter, said Daviess County Emergency Management Director Andy Ball.

“We have enough space there that, if we do have someone test positive, we can quarantine them separately,” he said. “The county provides the cots, mats and linens, and the city and county will split the cost of the security. Everyone entering the shelter will also be screened for COVID-19.”

The change in location will not only aid those in need, but guarantee the safety of St. Benedict’s clients, Pedigo said.

“Because we aren’t using any volunteers, we are stretched to the max to try to staff a white flag night,” he said. “I’m grateful Owensboro Christian stepped up and said they would do it; it helps us tremendously.”

Jacob Mulliken, 270-228-2837, jmulliken@messenger-inquirer.com

Jacob Mulliken, 270-228-2837, jmulliken@messenger-inquirer.com

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