Many of our “Gospel Center Family” are asking what we are doing regarding the Coronavirus. Below is our Prevention Plan that will be updated as we navigate this challenge.
The Gospel Center Rescue Mission (GCRM) is taking measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) across all GCRM homeless programs on Campus. Four factors pertaining to GCRM’s approach that must be stated up front regarding our Prevention Plan are:
- GCRM deals with a very unsanitary and often mentally ill population in our four overnight shelters (Women’s/Family Shelter, Men Shelter, Women’s Recuperative Care, and Men’s Recuperative Care) Community Feeding, Clothing Plus, and Representative Payee Services programs.
- Our shelters provide showers every evening to all guests.
- Cost is a factor on what can be done as GCRM operates on a bank line of credit. Any City, County, State or Federal emergency funding takes between 6-12 weeks to reimburse from the time supplies have been ordered or services are performed that require payroll. This period can present a financial hardship and means GCRM must pay extra loan fees and interest to front the funding.
- GCRM will, until forced to do otherwise, operate all of its Homeless services. The Gospel Center Rescue Mission is one of the Lord's Combat Units, and we “run to the fight” (prepared as best we can) and not away from it.
With this in mind the following approach is current or is being put in place:
- Campus Cleaning
- All surfaces will be wiped down with bleach solution at a ratio of 1/3 cup per gallon of water or four teaspoons per quart of water once daily upon guest departure for Men’s Lodge and three times a day for New Hope Family Shelter, Women’s Recuperative Care area and Men’s Recuperative Care Center.
- Kitchen will be wiped down three times daily with bleach solution mentioned above.
- Install a hand washing sink in the Homeless Courtyard as soon as possible.
- Hand sanitizer wall dispensers or pump bottles will be placed throughout Campus as supplies become available.
- Employees and volunteers are required to wash hands throughout the day.
- Gloves will be used for all cleaning and disposed after each use. This is in addition to normal food service operations.
- GCRM is ramping up its stock pile of cleaning supplies so that it is not left short in case of a run/demand for these supplies.
- Volunteers and Visitors
- Limit or halt all outside visitors to include evening chapel providers and volunteers.
- Suspend volunteer recruiting initiatives.
C. COVID-19 Affected Individuals
- Refer all peoples on or near the GCRM Campus who are displaying symptoms of Coronavirus to Gleason House Clinic run by Community Medical Centers to assess.
- Use Winter Emergency Overflow Shelter as a possible location for affected persons if in fact Public Health Services cannot place.
- GCRM designates its six beds in our newly acquired 218 E. Sonora property to isolate any New Life Program student who comes down with COVID-19, and meals will be brought to them.
- Staff who live on campus will be restricted to their lodging with meals brought to them.
- Staff who live off campus and come down with COVID-19 will recuperate from their homes.
- If their recovery permits staff will have laptops provided to work from their home or campus lodging. They will also have another staff assigned as their sponsor to buy any items for them that may needed during their quarantine.
- Staff pay and any benefits will continue even if the employee has exceeded their sick time.
- In addition to all staff training on 2/21/20 and 3/27/20, our Directors have attended COVID-19 preventative training held by Dignity- St. Joseph’s Medical Center.
- GCRM continues to monitor public health alerts pertaining to COVID-19.
During this time of Coronavirus pandemic, please continue to support the Gospel Center financially as we look to implement every measure we can towards prevention. For example, the 218 E. Sonora property mentioned will need some immediate renovation to be a quarantine facility.
In conclusion, this challenge facing the world makes me think of the life of Mother Teresa. Every day she provided aid and comfort to people who I’m sure many had infectious diseases. If the Gospel Center Rescue Mission can keep the faith and serve as Mother Teresa did, then I know that God will be pleased. This said, please remember the Rescue Mission and its amazing dedicated staff in your prayers.