Nothing gives our team more hope than the support we have seen from the dedicated community that wraps itself around St. Francis House during times of uncertainty.
As we address the challenges posed by the Coronavirus strain COVID-19, we are working to keep St. Francis House a welcoming space of refuge for the homeless individuals we serve. We take the spread of respiratory diseases within our population very seriously, and the health and safety of our guests, tenants, staff, and volunteers is our top priority.
St. Francis House is committed to staying open and available as a refuge for our guests who rely on us during the COVID-19 emergency. Working with Boston Health Care for the Homeless, the Boston Public Health Commission, Massachusetts Department of Public Health and our partners in the homeless community, we are closely monitoring this changing situation.
We are continuing to adapt and modify our services and work practices to ensure the health and safety of our community:
- Beginning Wednesday, March 25th, working in partnership with the City of Boston, Boston Healthcare for the Homeless and our other partners in the homeless community, all guests of St. Francis House are being screened at the front door for exposure and symptoms of Covid-19, ensuring that all guests who need it, have access to the next level of appropriate medical care.
- We have hired an outside cleaning service to add another layer of daily deep cleaning in our building, with a special focus on high-touch areas, in addition to increased sanitization by our facilities during the day.
- Signage reminding all to wash hands and cover sneezes and coughs are placed around the agency in both English and Spanish.
- Staff is working directly with guests to ensure frequent and consistent hand washing and communication regarding symptoms and protocols. Hand sanitizer stations have been established throughout the building.
- We are continuing to offer breakfast and lunch and taking extraordinary measures, including bagging meals and opening additional spaces within our building, to ensure social distancing and proper sanitization. Portable meals enable guests to eat and maintain proper space.
- As of March 30, 2020, we have suspended our used clothing donation program. We are giving clothing to all those who need it using our inventory of donations and purchasing the needed clothing we do not have.
- Following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, we are requiring that staff that can work from home do so. Staff who have been told not to report to work due to the city’s recommendations will continue to be paid and have access to benefits.
- We have suspended onsite volunteer services through April 30th.
- Given the nature of the situation, we have postponed upcoming events.
and help provide critical funding for increased costs
associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The emergency measures in place as a result of COVID-19 have a significant impact on the operations and services of St. Francis House. We are facing additional expenses of $10,000 per day on top of our normal operating expenses. To help us manage this unprecedented situation, we have established a COVID-19 Emergency fund to continue to provide desperately needed services and keep our doors open, embracing our mission of never turning anyone away – ever.
Thank you for your continued support of St. Francis House.