If you’ve followed PACEM over the last six months then you know the extraordinary measures we’ve taken to keep our homeless guests sheltered. Six months is longer than our normal shelter season yet we are still providing a version of it to almost 60 men and women at a nearby hotel. In addition to providing evening staffing, our case management team works closely with the hotel guests to regularly evaluate their stays and identify and attack obstacles to housing.
The hotel is likely to remain an option into the new year. However, as we have shifted into colder weather we have grown increasingly concerned about the homeless folks that will not be able to access the hotel. To do so, a homeless individual must be Tier 1 medically vulnerable according to CDC guidelines. The hotel is already full and often has a wait list.
As a result, we began reaching out last month to some of our church partners that have larger facilities to consider offering congregate shelter from November through March. Because of the pandemic and social distancing restrictions, we are anticipating only being able to shelter 25 guests a night at most at any one facility.
ORDER PACEM’s 2021 BIRD CALENDAR! All proceeds benefit our women’s shelter.
We are excited to announce that we currently have host sites in place for November through February and are confident we will be able to stretch into March (and perhaps beyond based on the continued risk posed by the coronavirus).
Congregate shelter will look a lot different than it did a year ago. Safety measures like masks and sanitizing stations, and, most significantly, social distancing, will have a dramatic impact on our ability to shelter. Volunteer interaction–a bedrock of PACEM’s services–will be severely restricted. Even so, we will strive to offer a warm and welcoming safe space for those impacted by homelessness.
If you would like to find out how you can become part of our effort to offer congregate shelter please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions about any of the above, please contact Jayson Whitehead. And please stay safe!