Journey Home Friends,
We have had our busiest week yet preparing for and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Journey Home and our partner agencies helped to relocate more than 200 people from shelters into area hotel rooms in the Capitol Region in the hopes of helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This represents approximately 2/3rds of the overall people who were sharing sleeping quarters in large rooms in shelters. The hotel rooms are being paid for by the State of Connecticut. Those relocated include clients from South Park Inn Shelter, McKinney Shelter, East Hartford Shelter, Friendship Service Center Shelter, Cornerstone Shelter, Salvation Army, and Enfield Warming Center. Some of these shelters have relocated staffing to the hotels to be available to the clients 24/7, and are pitching in to help support those from agencies who could not send staff. Fortunately, there are no known positive COVID-19 cases among shelter/hotel clients in the Capitol Region yet. However, there is one known positive COVID-19 case in a housing program of a partner agency, one known case of a shelter staff person, and several housing and shelter agencies have staff and clients who have been isolated due to symptoms, waiting on test results, or exposure to COVID-positive cases. We anticipate more positive cases in the near future, but are happy that most people will now be able to isolate themselves better to protect against the virus. We are so grateful to all of you who have helped in so many ways with this enormous transition!
- Thank you to The City of Hartford which partnered with Autumn Transportation to provide buses for relocating clients from shelters to the hotels.
- Thank you to Bear’s Smokehouse which donated lunch and dinner last Sunday through Wednesday to the clients at one of the hotels.
- Thank you to Vox Church volunteers who picked up and delivered the meals from Bear’s to the hotel.
- Thank you to Journey Home volunteers who provided breakfast on Wednesday morning at the hotel, and who will be providing lunch today and Sunday at the hotel.
- Thank you to United Health which began 7 day per week meal service to the hotel, and thanks again to The City of Hartford which will be picking up and delivering the meals onsite daily.
- Thank you to South Park Inn and CRT which will be organizing the remainder of the meals to hotel guests.
- Thank you to Hartford Marathon Foundation, which dropped off non-perishable individually wrapped snacks to supplement meals on Monday at one of the hotels.
- Thank you to Charter Oak Health Center which has agreed to accept and triage health related calls from clients at all the hotels 24/7.
- Thank you to Greater Hartford Harm Reduction, which has agreed to be on call for one of the hotels for behavioral health services 24/7. They also will provide on-site services at the hotel with a mobile van five days a week. They will provide a full spectrum of harm reduction tools, including access to medication assisted treatment, detox, and inpatient programs.
- Thank you to the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut which donated hygiene kits to the hotels on Wednesday.
- Thank you to the University of Hartford, which donated 400 takeout containers for food service for preparing hot meals for the hotels.
- Thank you to the Northwest Corner Mask Makers for sewing 150 masks to protect staff and clients.
- Thank you to InterCommunity for being available to the hotels for triaging primary and behavioral health calls, telehealth services, and detox programming.
There are many others who have helped in so many ways, and we apologize for not naming them all here, but will do our best to acknowledge them as soon as we can. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our Director of Development and Communications, Sara Salomons Wilson, with any questions or if you are interested in finding out how you can help. Sara can be reached at [email protected].
We also are in need of many supplies as part of this transition. We do understand that some of these supplies will be challenging to find, but we send out this request anyway. Our provider staff are working on the front lines and it is our hope that we can keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible. Please consider donating the following supplies:
- Antibacterial cleaning wipes
- Face masks (homemade fabric ones are perfectly fine)
- Laundry detergent
- Quarters for onsite laundry facilities
- Clamshell to-go containers for offsite food preparation that is being done and delivered to the hotel
- Toilet paper (we are desperately low!)
We will be accepting donations at our warehouse at 635 New Park Ave in West Hartford on the following days:
- Saturday, April 11th from 12-2
- Tuesday, April 14th from 12-2
- Thursday, April 16th from 12-2
Please place any donations in our truck. The truck will be parked with the door open during these hours. We will have someone at the warehouse to accept the donations but that individual will be at a safe distance.
Matt and the entire Journey Home team