I come to you today to report that the Mission has now experienced 4 positive cases of COVID-19 at our campus. Three were men in our Life Recovery Program and one male staff member. Our staff have worked hard to limit our guests exposure through wearing masks in house, social distancing, and frequent sanitization of our campus. But unfortunately, with the rise in cases in our community, COVID-19 still made its way through our doors.
We have been in contact with Dr. Martha Whyte and her team at the local health department on what our next steps should be. Their guidance and wisdom has been invaluable throughout the course of this pandemic. We are following all of their quarantine guidelines and sanitation recommendations to keep our guests and staff safe.
Based on recommendations from our local health department, the Mission will temporarily suspend all non-essential Mission operations. This includes our donation pick up service and our Mission Thrift Store. This does not include our shelter operations which will remain unaffected. Many of our guests have underlying health conditions, and we cannot compromise their health at this time.
While 2020 may be done, COVID-19 is not done yet. There is light at the end of tunnel with the distribution of a vaccine but until it reaches the majority of our community, we must continue to navigate through this pandemic.
There are many ways you can help the Mission during this time.
First, pray for us. Pray for our guests who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and pray protection for the other guests at our campus. Pray for our staff with are working tirelessly. And pray for our community as a whole.
Second, help us slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community by practicing frequent hand washing, social distancing, and wearing a mask when you are around individuals outside of your immediate household.
Finally, follow us on social media and our website to see our most current immediate needs and ways you can donate to continue our work to help our homeless neighbors.
I have no doubt that with all of us working together and with God’s grace and love, we will make it out of this pandemic stronger. As always, thank you for supporting the Mission and thank you for helping us change our cities one life at a time!
Pastor Larry and Donna Otwell