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:
- Recognizing the need for universal COVID-19 testing for individuals who are homeless, Mayor Walsh has secured 1,000 additional tests for guests in the shelter system. St. Francis House tested guests onsite at a temporary testing facility on Thursday, April 30th, and Friday, May 1st. Individuals who tested positive were transported to one of several medical care facilities for homeless individuals.
- 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.
- For the safety of our staff and guests, we have temporarily suspended all clothing donations at St Francis House. There are few exceptions, including our Amazon Wishlist, prearranged bulk quantities, and prearranged new PPE supplies. To arrange a donation, please reach out to email@example.com.
- 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 until further notice.
- Given the nature of the situation, we have postponed upcoming events.
We have established a COVID-19 Emergency fund to provide critical support for our vulnerable homeless neighbors and our staff. As we are anticipating long term effects from this pandemic, any funds raised in excess of our immediate COVID-19 needs will be utilized to support our program operations.
Other ways to support St. Francis House
- We are seeking donations of disposable masks, homemade masks, and materials for staff to make masks. NO walk-ins, please. Learn more about our Masks for SFH Project here.
- Support our basic services by purchasing clothing and toiletries for our guests through our Amazon Wishlist.
- Download and share this flyer on ways to support us with your network.
Thank you for your continued support of St. Francis House.