CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE (COVID-19)

Updated March 18, 2020

Friends of the Mission,

The world is quickly changing. Schools are closing, grocery stores are left with empty shelves, trips and plans are being canceled, and we are left in a state of uncertainty. So, where does that leave shelters and organizations like the Modesto Gospel Mission in relation to COVID-19 and this novel coronavirus? We minister to a high-risk population of men, women, and children that may have no other option but to depend on services like ours. Today our purpose has never been more relevant – to serve those in need in a time of desperation.

On a practical level, the Modesto Gospel Mission is serving our vulnerable guests by following specific guidelines set forth by local, state and federal government agencies. We are in continuous communication with Stanislaus County’s Public Health Services Agency, and we are closely monitoring guidelines published by such government agencies such as the California Department of Public Health, Cal BCSH, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), U.S. Department of Labor/OSHA, and HUD, just to name a few.

The Mission’s leadership team has developed an emergency operations plan to minimize and prevent exposure to and infection with COVID-19. These are just some of the measures we are taking out of an abundance of caution:

  • We are installing automatic hand sanitizer dispensers at major entry points of each of our buildings and restrooms.
  • We have posted CDC posters/flyers on proper hand-washing techniques, COVID-19 symptoms, COVID-19 FAQs, and preventive measures individuals can take around each of our buildings and in each of our restrooms.
  • We have cleaning crews every shift that clean and sanitize all restrooms, mop floors, and wipe all doorknobs, handrails, and bed railings with suggested commercial-grade sanitizer.
  • We continue to launder bedsheets, pillowcases, and towels for all guests and program disciples.
  • We continue to require that all shelter guests and program disciples shower each evening, and we continue to provide fresh, clean clothing to our shelter guests after showering.
  • We have moved the men’s shelter bunk beds further apart, and we are having all of our guests that use bunk beds alternate sleeping head to toe based on government recommendations.
  • We have created separate living quarters with beds and a bathroom to isolate guests displaying symptoms of illness or those with significantly elevated risk of infection.
  • We have split up and staggered our meals from 5 per day to 9 per day, ensuring that we pare down the number of people assembled and eating in our dining room at any one time. We have also relocated the evening dinner for youth and their families that attend the Youth Center so that they are not dining with our homeless guests, again to reduce the number of people assembled in one location.
  • We have developed a plan to immediately provide transportation to those guests displaying COVID-19 symptoms to a healthcare provider, a local medical clinic, or a hospital emergency room.
  • We require all visitors to our Youth Center (children, parents/guardians, volunteers, and employees) to be checked for fever or other COVID-19 symptoms before entry.
  • We are encouraging all of our employees to stay home who feel sick in any manner, and have offered non-essential employees the option to work from home if possible.

 

Further, as the way our programs and shelters are structured, our shelter guests have the option to stay on campus around the clock, attending our Freedom Road Day Program, which removes the necessity of leaving or becoming exposed to or spreading COVID-19.

Finally, we at the Modesto Gospel Mission are doing our best to abide by our governing authorities, and love our neighbors and community well by minimizing risk of spreading COVID-19 as much as possible. However, among the uncertainty, we know ultimately Who is in control. In troubling times, we lean on our faith in a good Father, who never changes, and has ultimate sovereignty on all that happens in our universe.

We echo with the Psalmist, “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.” (Psalm 43:5)

God bless you, and may He keep you safe and healthy.

Jason Conway, Executive Director
New Life Program Graduate 2008

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VOLUNTEER INFORMATION

In light of recent developments, we want to update our faithful volunteers with information on how the Mission is protecting volunteers during this time. Volunteers are an essential part of the ministry here at the Modesto Gospel Mission. We could not have helped the poor and homeless for over 70 years if it were not for the help of volunteers.

Volunteers of the Mission,

First, I would like to thank those of you who have been faithful in volunteering your time here at the Modesto Gospel Mission. As times are quickly changing, and the future is uncertain, we are looking to adjust our volunteer schedule to respect those vulnerable to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) both here at the Mission as well as those coming to serve. Thank you for your willingness to serve as the hands and feet of Jesus despite this chaotic time.

The Modesto Gospel Mission is serving our guests and our neighbors by following specific guidelines set forth by local, state and federal government agencies. We are in continuous communication with Stanislaus County’s Public Health Services Agency, Cal BCSH, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), U.S. Department of Labor/OSHA, and HUD, just to name a few.

The Mission’s leadership team has developed an emergency of operations plan to minimize and prevent exposure to, and infection with COVID-19. Some of the measures being taken require extra sanitation of the kitchen, dining room, restrooms, shelter beds, and chapel areas. We have added extra mealtimes to allow more space for social distancing while eating and reduce the amount of people in the dining room at any one time.

During this historic period upon us, we still need extra hands around the Mission to serve the “least of these.” If willing and able, we are still welcoming individuals to volunteer by accessing the VolunteerHub portal on our website, www.modestogospelmission.org/get-involved. If you cannot volunteer at this time, please consider supporting financially by donating at www.modestogospelmission.org/donate. In alignment with federal, state, and county guidelines for public health and wellness amid COVID-19, we will not be able to host larger volunteer groups (10+ people) to serve until further notice, but would love to see individuals who have spare time helping out.

As a precaution, we ask that any persons who have recently traveled to countries significantly affected by COVID-19 (such as Iran, China, Korea, Singapore, Italy, or any European country) to please refrain from volunteering for at least 14 days upon your return. Also, if you are not feeling well, please forgo serving until you are feeling better or have been cleared by a physician.

You will notice the Mission staff is greeting you with a smile and elbow bump rather than a handshake or hug. Thank you for joining us in serving those who are most vulnerable among us. Together, we’re changing lives!We know that times like this have a lot of uncertainty, but we have confidence that the Lord is sovereign and in control. During this time, please partner with us in prayer for our disadvantaged and homeless neighbors in our community, Mission staff, and those on the front lines in fighting this virus locally and around the world.

God bless!

Emily Pedersen, Volunteer Coordinator
emily@homelessmission.org

VOLUNTEER

current needs

The Modesto Gospel Mission relies on donations from the community to support our efforts with the homeless. While you can give monetarily, you can also give by donating necessary operation items which we list and update regularly on this page.

URGENT NEEDS

1. Disposable razors

2. Forks (metal or plastic)

3. Pancake Syrup

TOILETRIES & OTHER

1. Toilet Paper

2. Hand Sanitizer

3. Hand Soap

4. Personal Hygiene Items

5. Rubber Gloves

6. Masks

FOOD & DINING

1. Bread

2. Rice

3. Beans

4. Water

5. Canned Food

6. Milk

7. Eggs

PROGRAM & FACILITY UPDATES

Mission Offices – OPEN (9:00am – 6:30pm)

Men’s Shelter – OPEN

Women’s Shelter – OPEN

Youth Center – OPEN (10:00am – 6:00pm Monday – Friday)

Youth Meal Pickup Service – AVAILABLE (5:45pm – 6:00pm)

New Life Program & Intake – OPEN

Clothing Distribution Center – CLOSED (come to the front office to receive clothing)

Community Dining Hall – OPEN (see image)

ELDERLY CARE PACKAGE PROGRAM

It is in times like these that we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. We know that many elderly in this community are in need, and we desire to serve them during these times. Therefore, the Modesto Gospel Mission has partnered with many others in the community to start a free care package delivery service for those in the Modesto community aged 60 and older.

If you or someone you know is 60+ years old and unable to travel to the store during this time, please call our front desk at (209) 529-8259 and set up a same-day delivery of much needed items such as toilet paper, rice, beans, soup, hygiene, and other essentials. If you need a blanket and any other essential items, please let us know and we will do our best to supply you in this time of need. Additionally, if you have these items and would like to donate them to the Mission to help us continue to serve this population, please feel free to bring them by any time!

We would love to get this message out to as many as possible within the senior community in Modesto, so help us spread the word by sharing this post or letting others know. Thank you for your continued generosity during these trying and uncertain times. Blessings!

(Please note: Each bag is pre-packaged based on the supplies we currently have on-site and each bag is a bit different than the next. We do not offer grocery shopping for the elderly at this time.)

HAVE QUESTIONS OR WANT TO LEARN MORE? CONTACT OUR MODESTO OFFICES.

Current hours of operation: 9am – 5pm Monday through Friday.

ADDRESS

1400 Yosemite Blvd, Modesto, CA 95354

PHONE

(209) 529-8259

EMAIL

info@homelessmission.org