Journey Home Friends,
As the COVID-19 crisis continues on in our community, we remain focused on keeping our most vulnerable population safe and simultaneously working towards providing permanent housing.
One of the challenges through this crisis has been the anxiety experienced by clients and staff from not knowing their own COVID-19 status and the fears of contracting or spreading the virus. In order to help overcome this challenge, Journey Home and our partner organizations advocated to The City of Hartford for increased COVID-19 testing for this sector. The City of Hartford responded and worked with Hartford Healthcare, which quickly mobilized teams to conduct mass testing at shelters and hotel sites where clients have been relocated from shelter. Journey Home was at the hotel site this morning alongside staff from South Park Inn and Community Renewal Team, to help register and support more than 150 clients and staff through the testing process. This morning’s testing at the hotel will be the largest comprehensive test of the homeless population in any region of the state held to date.
Connecticut has been applauded for its quick response to isolating and hoteling people experiencing homelessness, and the City of Hartford has been leading the state on testing efforts of the homeless population. We echo this applause and are so grateful to the City and to Hartford Healthcare for making this possible, and we are happy to report that the testing event today went very smoothly.
Meanwhile, as expected, we have still seen increases in COVID-19 cases among the larger group of Coordinated Access Network agencies and clients. Eight staff from shelter, housing, and soup kitchens have tested positive, seven clients in shelters have tested positive, four clients in housing programs have tested positive, and three unsheltered clients have tested positive for COVID-19.
We continue to work with our community partners each and every day to face these challenges head on. We would like to once again recognize all of our partners who deserve thanks for the work that they have been doing:
- Thank you to Charter Oak Health Center who has recently started providing COVID testing to any homeless clients (symptomatic or not) who request it at Charter Oak Health Center.
- Thank you to Hartford Public Library for providing laptops to the hotels so that staff can assist clients to use them for job search and career development.
- Thank you to St. Vincent De Paul and to the Bristol Boys & Girls Club, which have agreed to let homeless individuals use their showers (with safety precautions) to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Thank you to Church of Christ Congregational in Newington for their laundry donation. They collected over $1200 in quarters and provided tons of laundry detergent.
- Thank you to Avon Congregational Church for their very generous donation of essential supplies: laundry detergent, toilet paper, and takeout containers
- Thank you to the Imagineers Foundation for a $10,000 grant
- Thanks to all of you who participated in this year’s #GivingTuesdayNow on May 5th. Through your generosity we were able to raise $2500
- Thank you to all of our friends and supporters who have donated money or supplies
Over the last two months we have been the recipient of incredible generosity from our community. Because of your efforts we have distributed the following donations:
- 464 N95 Masks
- 403 Handmade Masks
- 3,000 Surgical Masks
- 38 gallons of Hand Soap
- $2,206.75 in Quarters
- 127 Face Shields
- 145 Boxes of Gloves
- 87 containers of Hand Sanitizer
- 14 containers of Bleach
- 30 containers of Disinfectant
- 391 rolls of Toilet Paper
- 43 rolls of Paper Towels
- 33 Thermometers
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