This week our nation has been in what I would call “rapid response” mode, each of us trying to make decisions that are hopefully not just looking after our own well-being, but considering how we can help protect the health of our neighbors.
At CCU we are making those same decisions, especially as we serve some of our community's most vulnerable citizens. Here is a brief update on the decisions we have made to this point as we continue to provide services to those in need while looking out for the health of the whole community.
- Winter Overnight Safe Haven (WOSH) for Men: Our Winter Overnight Safe Haven for men will be closing two weeks early, with the last night for the shelter being this coming Monday, March 16. Thankfully the weather looks like it will be relatively warm in the coming days, and we've determined it is safest for the men not to be sleeping in an area that is very close quarters. We will have case managers from our HELP office present on the evenings leading up to the final night to provide assistance to men about other housing options.
- Winter Overnight Shelter for Women and Non-Binary People: At this point, the Winter Overnight Shelter for Women and Non-Binary People will remain open until March 31, pending any further changes in the COVID-19 situation locally.
- HELP Ministries Office: Our HELP Ministries office remains open during normal business hours (www.ccuhbg.org/help) to assist those facing homelessness or other crises. We are working on a plan to provide help should a local COVID-19 outbreak affect our ability to keep our physical office open.
- Susquehanna Harbor Safe Haven: We are taking extra cleaning and sanitation precautions at this 24-hour residential facility for men who were chronically homeless.
- Work Release Worship Services: These Sunday worship services for people in Dauphin County Prison's Work Release Center are canceled for March 15 and 22.
- Poverty Simulation: The Poverty Simulation event scheduled for Saturday, March 21 at Harrisburg Brethren in Christ Church has been re-scheduled to Saturday, April 18 at the same location. So if you couldn’t join us on the 21st, but the April date works for you, please register by calling our office at 717-230-9550 or e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Concert of HOPE: Our annual prison ministry fundraiser--the Concert of HOPE--scheduled for Sunday, March 29 at Trinity Lutheran Church is postponed. A re-scheduled date or full cancellation will be announced in coming weeks.
Monitor our website and facebook page for on-going updates.
Finally, we are reaching out to leaders of other local social services providers to see how we can partner together to support those who will be dealing with loss of income and potential housing crisis situations due to the COVID-19 virus. Please join with us in both praying for health and wellness for our neighbors in need and extending a helping hand (even when we can’t literally shake hands)!
- Darrel Reinford, Executive Director