Springs Rescue Mission:

Our response to COVID-19: an update from SRM leadership

Our response to COVID-19: an update from SRM leadership

At Springs Rescue Mission, we take the health, safety and wellbeing of our guests, clients, staff and volunteers very seriously; and we believe it is our duty to serve our homeless and hungry neighbors in all situations. We are committed to working prudently during this COVID-19 pandemic.As an organization, we are taking necessary steps to protect those seeking shelter, food and other resources at Springs Rescue Mission. Statistics show that homeless men and women are particularly vulnerable to this virus, and staff are actively educating and encouraging individuals to do all they can to avoid infection.

“Since we opened the doors of our shelter in 2016, we have been dedicated and determined to create a clean, healthy and dignified environment for those struggling with homelessness. Knowing we serve a vulnerable population, our mission is to continue prioritizing their health, safety and wellbeing during this sensitive time." - Larry Yonker, President & CEO

Many of the guidelines created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding COVID-19 are already daily protocol at Springs Rescue Mission. Our staff, volunteers and members of Work Engagement clean and disinfect the facilities three times each day. All guests and clients are given access to showers (with soap and shampoo) , laundry facilities and antibacterial hand sanitizer. And if any individual has symptoms or other health concerns, our staff helps them seek appropriate medical care.

OUR RESPONSE

Since the virus was found to be present in Colorado, Springs Rescue Mission has done its best to respond diligently. Existing health and safety protocols have been bolstered, and new guidelines from the CDC (which include specific guidance for U.S. homeless shelters) have been implemented. Those changes include:

  • adding hand sanitizer/hand wipe stations at all entry points to all facilities;
  • increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting;
  • encouraging “social distancing” and covered coughing/sneezing;
  • encouraging individuals to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth;
  • implementing head-to-toe sleeping strategies in all facilities;
  • posting signage related to and encouraging best practices in cleanliness and safety;
  • requiring all staff, guests and clients to wash and sanitize hands upon entry; and
  • developing strategies for quarantining guests, should the need arise.

Additionally, any and all guests presenting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will be referred to seek medical treatment and testing. If test results are positive for the virus, the individual[s] will then be referred to the El Paso County Health Department.

"We're doing our very best with the information we have to keep our staff, guests and volunteers as safe and healthy as possible." - Travis Williams, Chief Development Officer

At the recommendation of the City of Colorado Springs and local health agencies, Springs Rescue Mission has announced additional precautionary measures, effective immediately:

  • All group gatherings and events (on or off campus) have been postponed;
  • Our donations warehouse / receiving facility is now closed (see bottom of post for exceptions);
  • Non-essential staff and volunteers are to work remotely and not report to campus;
  • Essential staff who present symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will be asked to stay home and seek appropriate medical treatment; and
  • All emergency services (shelters, feeding and Resource Center) will continue to be provided, while non-emergency programs will be postponed until further notice.

These measures will be reevaluated on March 31.Although Springs Rescue Mission is taking steps to reduce the likelihood of infection among this community’s most vulnerable men and women, our service to them will not be interrupted.

We are committed to helping people break the cycles of homelessness, hunger and addiction in their lives; and we will continue providing them with the access to food, shelter and resources they need to do so.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

During this time, Springs Rescue Mission needs your help more than ever. Please consider a financial donation today to help ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our neighbors in need.Additionally, the Mission is in immediate need of:

  • hand sanitizer
  • laundry pods
  • paper plates and bowls
  • foam cups
  • napkins
  • plastic forks and spoons
  • antibacterial cleaning wipes
  • scanning thermometers
  • toilet paper
  • bath towels

Click HERE if you wish to donate online. If you'd like to help meet the urgent need for the above items, please deliver them from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Monday through Friday to 111 W. Las Vegas St. For more information, call 719-632-1822.

Subscribe to our blog to learn more about Springs Rescue Mission and the people we serve — people who have seen tough times but are committed to breaking the cycles of homelessness, hunger and addiction in their lives. We see stories of hope and transformation lived out every day, and we’d love to share them with you.

Visit springsrescuemission.org/gss to learn more.

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