Journey Home Friends,
As the COVID-19 cases have risen across the state, we were saddened to learn that our first shelter client in a hotel has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now in quarantine for at least two weeks.  One shelter staff person, and two clients in housing programs have also tested positive for COVID-19. A few other clients and agency staff are isolated or quarantined with symptoms. Clients and staff at almost all sites are being monitored for symptoms multiple times per day.  But in the midst of this unfortunate news, Journey Home and our partner agencies are rising up in new and important ways to respond to this pandemic.
Now that some of the shelters have relocated their clients and/or operations to hotels where individuals can better isolate, there is an effort to increase the shelter capacity at the hotels to be able to serve the increasing number of people who are becoming homeless in the Capitol Region.  We are working together with partners to increase temporary staffing at the hotels and prioritize those homeless individuals and families most at risk of COVID-19 for additional placements. Once again, we are so grateful to all our partners who deserve recognition for their impressive work.
  • Thank you to Community Housing Advocates/Mercy Housing and Shelter Corporation for working with Department of Housing for re-purposing $62,000 of HUD funding for additional rental assistance to help more people out of shelters and hotels to obtain permanent housing.
  • Thank you to CRT Behavioral Health and to InterCommunity for joining Charter Oak Health Center and Greater Hartford Harm Reduction for being available to the hotels for triaging primary and behavioral health calls, tele-health services, and detox programming.
  • Thank you to Beacon Health Options who offered to staff the Community Care Team meetings (a group of healthcare providers) and use these meetings as a venue for case conferencing COVID-19 related cases or other healthcare issues during the pandemic.  Beacon is also making available their Warm Line to the hotels which has peers with lived experience of addiction or helping others with addiction to be able to respond to crisis calls.
  • Thank you to the Keep the Promise Coalition for volunteering to make calls to clients in the hotels to support them and listen to them during this pandemic.
  • Thank you to Travelers Insurance Company for filling in with providing meals this week, when United Healthcare temporarily was unable to do it.
  • Thank you to Hartford Flavor Company again for providing more hand sanitizer at a reduced rate.
  • Thank you to Kathy Fielding, one of the temporary staff who had been working at a hotel for providing Easter dinner to all the hotel guests.
  • Thank you to St James’s Church in West Hartford for donating quarters for laundry and laundry detergent as well as masks.
  • Thank you to all of the Journey Home supporters who have donated quarters for laundry, laundry detergent, hand sanitizer, face masks, toilet paper, and disinfecting wipes.
Thanks to all of you and your generosity, as well as the Office of Emergency Management, Journey Home has collected and distributed to 16 partner agencies the following supplies:
  • 150 N95 masks
  • 180 cloth masks
  • 40 disposable masks
  • 40 Face Shields
  • 10,600 gloves
  • 34 bottles of hand sanitizer
  • 968 ounces of bleach
  • 10,500 mL of disinfectant
  • 201 rolls of toilet paper
  • 25 rolls of paper towels
  • 512 ounces of hand soap
  • 12 boxes of Narcan
  • 2,719 quarters for laundry
  • 2 thermometers
  • 2 carts for transporting food to rooms at hotels
  • 10 cans of Lysol wipes
  • 165 lockboxes for securing medication at hotels
As usual, 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.
With deep gratitude,
Matt and the Journey Home team