New Directions for COVID-19 Shelter Response
The guests, staff and volunteers of St. John’s are no strangers to change, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. Many of you know by now how St. John’s moved to expand our services and stay at the forefront of our community response to homelessness during this unprecedented time. Over the past week and in partnership with Brown County, St. John’s has taken another step forward in serving our homeless brothers and sisters amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, we have both of our two 24/7 shelters sites under the same roof temporarily during the COVID-19 crisis, while still separating our guests and staff to continue to help promote social distancing and mitigate community spread. Utilizing an assisted living facility building no longer in use in the Village of Ashwaubenon, St. John’s has been afforded more space for our guests,increased social distance and the dignity of a safe place to lay their head each night.
A cornerstone of St. John’s COVID-19 response has been to maintain two 24/7 separate shelters. This has enabled us to be resilient through this difficult time and to best care for guests and staff when COVID-19 did affect one of our shelters. Community spread has been greatly mitigated by social distancing our shelters, staff and guests, in this way. St. John’s has also been an outlier in the community by accepting new guests to shelter, knowing that homelessness doesn’t stop when a crisis happens.
St. John’s guests are staying in this new space through the end of June [Update 6-1-20: St. John’s will be at this location until June 15], providing stability and support for each unique guest to help them work toward their goals even through this time of crisis. Many guests remain employed or have sought new jobs with these changing times. They are working hard and taking ownership over their new home. Cleaning and disinfecting is constant need and even more so as we have settled into this new location. Guests are doing projects, organizing, gardening and other important “home repairs.” We are awestruck by how many leaders are emerging in the shelter community and how much each guest cares for St. John’s.
We are so thankful for your continued support, and we still need volunteer support in many areas that can be done with no-contact. Read more about being a grocery shopper or meal provider: https://www.stjohnhomelessshelter.org/covid-19-ways-to-help.
Please also consider providing the flexibility of a financial donation by giving to our Fund-A-Need campaign happening throughout the month of May.
But most of all, thank you for your continued prayers and support of our St. John’s family. We wish you and your family heath, safety and much love during this difficult time.
| Scroll through the gallery images above to see life in our new shelter location |