The United States Department of Homeland Security issued updated Coronavirus Guidance for America on March 19, 2020. This guidance states that:
“If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”
Homeless shelters and social services that provide necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals are specifically listed as critical infrastructure industries.
We have a large older and at-risk population at the shelter, and this includes many of our employees. Our staff are mostly minimum wage staff who will be here at the Shelter working during this pandemic. For those of you who pray, please pray for the staff. For those of you who don’t, please send them good healthy vibes!
I’m speaking almost daily with our partner, St. Mary’s Dining Room. They provide the daily meals to our Shelter residents. For the past week, they have been handing out prepackaged “to go” meals. As you can imagine, the changes to the routines of both of our agencies is creating a financial burden for us. We have begun to try to think creatively about how we can combine forces to weather the next few months. Please keep our staff and residents in your thoughts.
We are deeply grateful for all of you who, in the midst of protecting your own families, have made generous and sacrificial donations of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, hand soap and disinfecting wipes and sprays. It’s a huge challenge to keep over 350 pairs of hands clean throughout the day, every day. Your generosity is humbling.
We are still in need of more hand soap, antibacterial gels, wipes and sprays, as well as laundry detergent so we can wash towels and bedding more frequently. Monetary donations are very much appreciated as well, as we have had to increase staffing to accommodate the greater number of clients who are not able to go to work or send their children to school. We are also seeking disposable gloves and other safety items for our employees. As you know, our work is such that our staff can’t work from home.
Stockton Shelter for the Homeless has weathered many storms over the years and come out strong. We know that with our dedicated staff, Board of Directors and donors this crisis will turn out the same. Thank you for your support. For monetary donations, please visit http://www.stocktonshelter.org/give/. Other donations can be dropped off at the United Way office, located at 777 N Pershing Ave #2b, Stockton. Be sure to mark the donations “Stockton Shelter.”