The challenges of homelessness weigh heavily on families in “normal” circumstances. But with the current pandemic, the situation is even more challenging for the women and men and their children who don’t have a permanent residence. With many businesses closed, it’s harder to secure employment that can support their family and many landlords aren’t showing properties at this time. With the “shelter-in-place” requirements, families are making the most of the situation with the help of Bell Family Shelter.
Bell’s outreach coordinator, Janel Fox, is in touch regularly with Shelter services staff to see how the residents are doing during this uncertain time:
Janel’s report: As of April 13
Bell Family Shelter remains in operation, housing 11 families, including a total of 10 children, which is a lower number of children than are typically in residence. Those children of school age are fortunate to have been supplied with electronic devices so that they can continue to complete classes. Each family has been ‘quarantined’ to its own bedroom, and families have not been gathering in the dining or community rooms. Families are permitted to go to the dining room, one at a time, to pick up the meals which have been prepared, and take them back to the room to eat.
Everyone is doing their best to meet this daily challenge, and staff is working to maintain strict hygiene and other precautions.
For the Easter holiday, CVS donated individually-wrapped chocolate candies and bunnies, enough to make a ‘basket’ for each child in residence. Additionally, Shelby Gilgore donated puzzles, coloring books, and crayons, which were added to the baskets to make a nice Easter treat!
Shelby runs a nonprofit called MADS Enterprises, a memorial fund which provides educational services for others. In additional to the items for the Easter baskets, Shelby delivered 30 handmade masks to the shelter last week, with the promise of an additional 50-60 more to come!