Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis https://www.cctwincities.org Thu, 19 May 2022 17:32:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://www.cctwincities.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/cropped-favicon-512x512-1-32x32.png Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis https://www.cctwincities.org 32 32 Freddie’s Endearing Advocate https://www.cctwincities.org/freddies-endearing-advocate/ https://www.cctwincities.org/freddies-endearing-advocate/#respond Thu, 19 May 2022 17:32:54 +0000 https://www.cctwincities.org/?p=30459 Freddie didn’t plan on needing to stay at Higher Ground Shelter—very few people do. Yet when he was going through a divorce and found himself without a home, the support he found at Catholic Charities gave him the stability and energy he needed to continue moving forward one step at a time. Freddie remembers hearing... (Read More)

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Freddie didn’t plan on needing to stay at Higher Ground Shelter—very few people do. Yet when he was going through a divorce and found himself without a home, the support he found at Catholic Charities gave him the stability and energy he needed to continue moving forward one step at a time.

Freddie remembers hearing his name called early one morning in the shelter. With all his family in Milwaukee, Chicago, and Georgia, he didn’t know who would know him there. Little did he know he was meeting a person he would soon call his guardian angel, Client Advocate Loni Caldwell.

Now a Housing Case Manager, Loni remembers this morning, too. It was during the height of the pandemic and special funds were allocated to help isolate guests in hotel rooms, especially older guests, and Loni had a feeling that Freddie would benefit from this. Freddie was working at the time, and while Loni emphasizes that everyone who enters the shelter is treated equally, guests who already have jobs and schedules to work around do require different accommodations. She helped to arrange everything for Freddie’s hotel stay, her job as a Client Advocate complete, and they moved on…

She’s more than an advocate or a social worker—she’s a friend. If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be where I’m at.
Freddie

Four months later they reconnected at the shelter after recognizing one another while Loni was assisting other guests and Freddie was looking for his Advocate. Unfortunately, Freddie’s health had deteriorated since their last encounter–he was receiving regular cancer treatment and had undergone two very intensive surgeries. His life was upside down, and he couldn’t support himself the way he had in the past without employment. Freddie was ready to give up, but Loni stepped in. She assisted with doctor’s appointments, gathering paperwork, and arranging various support services to come to him.

Today, Freddie is stably housed through Section 8 and cancer-free. He credits Loni for everything he has now, including his life. “She goes the extra mile for you,” he said. “She’s more than an advocate or a social worker—she’s a friend. If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be where I’m at.” Loni helped Freddie find hope through illness and the experience of homelessness, empowering him to want more for himself. Loni doesn’t necessarily see it that way but believes she was fulfilling her purpose. “He just needed a helping hand and he showed up for himself.”

When asked if there was anything else he would like people to know about Catholic Charities, or the services he received, Freddie said he believes in his heart that Catholic Charities is here for people who need help and wants everyone to know if they need support, they can find it here. If you would like to help support clients like Freddie and case managers like Loni, please consider making a gift.

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The Power of Home (and Social Justice Club) https://www.cctwincities.org/the-power-of-home-and-social-justice-club/ https://www.cctwincities.org/the-power-of-home-and-social-justice-club/#respond Fri, 22 Apr 2022 14:07:41 +0000 https://www.cctwincities.org/?p=30364 Students are excitedly milling about, greeting speakers as they make their way through the gym. A nervous buzz ensues as these same students review a program script while 650 of their peers filter into the bleachers. No, it’s not graduation, it’s not homecoming: it’s Justice Week at Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield, MN. Put... (Read More)

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Students are excitedly milling about, greeting speakers as they make their way through the gym. A nervous buzz ensues as these same students review a program script while 650 of their peers filter into the bleachers. No, it’s not graduation, it’s not homecoming: it’s Justice Week at Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield, MN.

Put on by the school’s Social Justice Club, Justice Week brings education and awareness to students about issues such as human trafficking, privilege, immigration, and new this year, housing justice. Since becoming an all-school event, the topic has been incorporated into classes and is an opportunity for students to practice the legacy of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet through social justice-centered activities and education.

Social Justice Club was born when in 2014 two students approached teacher Chris DeCrans, about wanting an outlet to discuss and act on social issues with their peers. Today, the student-led club hosts meetings to discuss various topics by watching a video or reading an article and concluding with a call to action, such as contacting legislators or conducting a drive.

Housing is a topic near to Chris’ heart. Previously, he ran a shelter in California, so the social justice mission of Catholic Charities resonates deeply with him. He is a member of the Catholic Charities advocacy network and receives action alerts, and when he was unable to attend the recent Social Justice Assembly, he presented the opportunity to his students instead. They enjoyed the discussion so much that they brought it back to the group as a potential Justice Week theme.

This connection led to Catholic Charities Social Justice Education Manager Mike Rios-Keating who spoke at their assembly and contributed valuable resources to Justice Week, including a family homelessness simulation, an interactive budget activity, and opportunities to engage in legislative advocacy for housing justice.

The success of the collaboration has already yielded valuable results. The club raised over $1,000 by selling small antique keys throughout the week, keeping with the theme of The Power of Home. However, they knew that balanced service includes not just charity (i.e., donations), but also education and advocacy. With the help of the Catholic Charities team, these young leaders helped educate their peers and teachers on issues related to housing justice and how the community can make a difference. From inviting the school to contact their legislative officials in support of Emergency Services funding to collecting over 230 petition signatures, the Academy of Holy Angels 2022 Justice Week is a true example of living out the Two Feet of Love in Action.

If your school, parish, or community group would like to find ways to engage with our social justice education or advocacy efforts, or if you could benefit from a guest speaker or facilitator, please reach out for support at Michael.Rios@cctwincities.org.

Mike Rios-Keating speaks to ocial Justice Club Social Justice Cub member holds key Items collected by Social Justice Club decorative image

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Chez Jones Brings the Party to Higher Ground St. Paul Shelter https://www.cctwincities.org/chez-jones-brings-the-party-to-higher-ground-st-paul-shelter/ https://www.cctwincities.org/chez-jones-brings-the-party-to-higher-ground-st-paul-shelter/#respond Tue, 19 Apr 2022 17:09:18 +0000 https://www.cctwincities.org/?p=30334 Chez Jones understands the importance of celebration and community when it comes to maintaining the human spirit. In addition to her role as Pay-For-Stay (PFS) Lead Coordinator at Higher Ground St. Paul, Chez also runs her own event planning business and works with those experiencing homelessness in Dakota County. Over the past year, Chez saw... (Read More)

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Chez Jones understands the importance of celebration and community when it comes to maintaining the human spirit. In addition to her role as Pay-For-Stay (PFS) Lead Coordinator at Higher Ground St. Paul, Chez also runs her own event planning business and works with those experiencing homelessness in Dakota County.

Over the past year, Chez saw opportunities to create a greater sense of community at the Higher Ground St. Paul Shelter by organizing birthday parties for guests staying in shelter. “Wednesday bingo started it all. When I first tried it, only two or three people would play. Now I run out of cards quick! There are some folks who never play but want to be part of the community, so they sit with us and watch.”

“For the most part, this [shelter] is a peaceful place to be. Across the street, at the St. Paul Opportunity Center, that’s where they focus on the stresses of life: looking for a job, coordinating services, and having doctor’s appointments. When they come here, it’s like they are home,” Chez says.

The birthday parties started last fall with hot dogs, balloons, and cake. More recently, Chez visualized a throwback 80s party and brought it to life with vibrant neon décor, MTV logos, and iconic (inflatable) cassette tape boomboxes. Though her parties are far from simple, the simple idea of a birthday party helps guests feel seen and important.

“Many of these people don’t have anywhere else to go and have been coming here for years,” she says. “We see them every holiday, Thanksgiving and Christmas. We are their families.” Chez reports that the impact of the parties goes beyond the events themselves: The gatherings strengthen the feeling of community among guests, lowering stress levels, and decreasing critical incidents and emergency calls on party days. It has also built strong friendships among the guests.

“Just because you might be homeless doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate something as special as your birthday. Homelessness is just a temporary situation; everyone deserves to be celebrated.”

Chez will be hosting the next birthday party in May, but in the meantime, she is brainstorming other ways to bring life and community to the Dorothy Day campus, including events for the residents at Pay-For-Stay. With your support, Chez and Catholic Charities can continue to provide comfort and stability for those who need our services. If you would like to strengthen the community-centered work happening at Catholic Charities, please donate on our website.

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Shining a Spotlight on Children’s Day Treatment https://www.cctwincities.org/shining-a-spotlight-on-childrens-day-treatment/ https://www.cctwincities.org/shining-a-spotlight-on-childrens-day-treatment/#respond Mon, 11 Apr 2022 16:42:48 +0000 https://www.cctwincities.org/?p=30307 As Minneapolis Public Schools teachers and students return from their spring break, we want to spotlight a service that endures all year long: Catholic Charities Children’s Day Treatment. Day Treatment is a program for youth 1st through 8th grade who exhibit such significant behavioral concerns that a traditional school setting is not conducive to their... (Read More)

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As Minneapolis Public Schools teachers and students return from their spring break, we want to spotlight a service that endures all year long: Catholic Charities Children’s Day Treatment.

Day Treatment is a program for youth 1st through 8th grade who exhibit such significant behavioral concerns that a traditional school setting is not conducive to their learning. While they are capable of academic success, something is getting in the way. “It’s often stress, difficulty managing big emotions and relationships, and it’s challenging for these students to pay attention and focus because they’re already dealing with so much,” says Children’s Day Treatment Director Kris Hennelly. In this full-day program, youth receive both treatment and school. While the older program participants are learning with Minneapolis Public School teachers in the morning, the younger students practice skills in outpatient treatment with Catholic Charities’ therapeutic team, switching midday. Each classroom has about 6-7 students with 2-3 adults ready to support them.

The stigma attached to treatment can make the idea of this program scary — but day treatment aims to teach prosocial behaviors by focusing on 12 core skill areas, including communication, boundaries, and conflict management. Youth are provided with group therapy every day, individual therapy every week, and family therapy every other week. Generally, students commit to the program for a year, but their discharge is entirely dependent on their progress in these skill areas.

Kris Henley, Day Treatment

Kris Henley, Day Treatment

“Many of the kids we serve have trauma and/or complex trauma, meaning that the trauma occurred with their primary caregiver. When this happens at a young age, sometimes the trauma is intertwined with their development. This affects the way a child thinks about themselves and others, the way they perceive situations, and manage everyday experiences,” says Kris. “When our kids don’t receive the support they need, they may struggle in school, home, and the community. They get suspended from schools and there may be additional family stress. Communities’ responses can be less than empathic — even harmful — reinforcing our children’s negative views of themselves and others. Our goal in day treatment is to be a healing center for our children, to shed light on the beauty and goodness in each of them, and to help them learn about themselves and build healthy relationships.”

The Children’s Day Treatment program continues to serve youth daily, including during the pandemic. The program runs throughout the summer and over spring and winter breaks, too. We are so grateful for the work of those at Children’s Day Treatment in supporting the most vulnerable youth in our communities. If you’d like to support the potential of young people, please visit our giving page to donate!

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Building Community in the Twin Cities – Fighting Irish-style https://www.cctwincities.org/building-community-in-the-twin-cities-fighting-irish-style/ https://www.cctwincities.org/building-community-in-the-twin-cities-fighting-irish-style/#respond Thu, 07 Apr 2022 17:46:24 +0000 https://www.cctwincities.org/?p=30288 If it’s Tuesday evening, you know where to find Jim Anderson: in a Notre Dame baseball cap and holding a container of Pearson’s candy at the Higher Ground Shelter in St. Paul. Following his retirement in 2014, Jim attended a meeting of the Golden Domers, the senior alumni chapter of the Notre Dame Club of... (Read More)

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If it’s Tuesday evening, you know where to find Jim Anderson: in a Notre Dame baseball cap and holding a container of Pearson’s candy at the Higher Ground Shelter in St. Paul.

Following his retirement in 2014, Jim attended a meeting of the Golden Domers, the senior alumni chapter of the Notre Dame Club of Minnesota, where Leo Collins* suggested the group find a service project, especially for senior alumni. Being a former board member at Catholic Charities, Jim knew right where to start.

Connecting with Volunteer Services, Jim set up an opportunity so the club could serve dinner one Tuesday every month at Higher Ground Shelter in St. Paul. But soon they had more volunteers than they had slots, so they picked up another Tuesday – and then another. Now, each week, a group of Notre Dame volunteers, not just senior alumni, serve dinner at Higher Ground Minneapolis Shelter on Monday and at Higher Ground St. Paul Pay-for-Stay on Tuesday. This is in addition to the monthly breakfast service at the St. Paul Opportunity Center started by Ron Leung over 30 years ago. Food Service Supervisor Mike DeJong says, “They are wonderful to work with in the kitchen and with the residents and guests we serve — friendly, responsive, understanding, reliable, and more. A wonderful group and they truly represent the spirit of Catholic Social Teachings.” Now, as an extension of the Friends of Dorothy Day group, Jim corresponds with over 150 alumni volunteers each week about open shifts to support Catholic Charities and says that roughly 40-50 of those volunteers are consistently serving.

Because he lives in St. Paul, near Dorothy Day Place, and attends a church in the neighborhood, this project is particularly special to Jim. Through his service, he feels proud to provide for his own community alongside individuals with whom he has a different bond, saying that serving with Notre Dame alumni has fostered such camaraderie. “It’s great to serve with someone you with whom you already have a connection!”

While COVID impacted volunteer service due to Catholic Charities’ swift and effective response to limit congregate dining, Jim is excited to see that numbers are once again increasing, and guests are stopping in for a meal, and a Pearson’s peppermint patty.

If you’re interested in volunteering, or if you have a group that would like to volunteer together, please visit our volunteer page. Thank you. We couldn’t do this important work without you!

*Leo Collins passed away in February of 2022. We are truly grateful for his commitment to service and the impact he had on the population Catholic Charities serves is immeasurable. To read more about his life of service and purpose, please see his obituary.

Members of the Notre Dame Club volunteer group Members of the Notre Dame Club volunteer group Members of the Notre Dame Club volunteer group Members of the Notre Dame Club volunteer group Members of the Notre Dame Club volunteer group Members of the Notre Dame Club volunteer group

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Gifts of Service and Safety https://www.cctwincities.org/gifts-of-service-and-safety/ https://www.cctwincities.org/gifts-of-service-and-safety/#respond Fri, 01 Apr 2022 14:23:49 +0000 https://www.cctwincities.org/?p=30230 With a schedule that would exhaust the youngest of us, 77-year-old “Peggy” has been spreading joy in a most practical way. Between her commitment to the Minnesota Nikkei Project and her time running the shop at the Aŋpétu Téča Education Center, it is a wonder she has found the time for her largest projects: sewing... (Read More)

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With a schedule that would exhaust the youngest of us, 77-year-old “Peggy” has been spreading joy in a most practical way. Between her commitment to the Minnesota Nikkei Project and her time running the shop at the Aŋpétu Téča Education Center, it is a wonder she has found the time for her largest projects: sewing masks for Catholic Charities.

Peggy at sewing machineWhen the COVID pandemic first began, retired volunteer Peggy heard from one of her neighbors that Catholic Charities was in need of cloth masks to distribute to residents and guests throughout our facilities. In 2020, Peggy sewed over 1,700 masks that she donated to Catholic Charities. Since then, she estimates she’s made nearly 3,500 in total. Not all have gone to Catholic Charities, however. Peggy’s constructed masks for friends, family, and even carries a stash in her purse to give to anyone she might run into who might be in need! Her care doesn’t stop there—she does not accept any money, instead asking patrons pay it forward in any way that makes a difference.

While Peggy makes her masks in batches, she estimates that each mask takes about half an hour to make. Between cutting the fabric, hot gluing the nose piece, and sewing the straps, each mask is an individual project. At this point, she has even started to work on smaller masks for children as well! (You might like to know these are an even quicker turnaround!)

As the pandemic caused such an abrupt halt to regular life, Peggy started sewing masks to keep herself busy.. She says the project saved her during this time, giving her a sense of purpose. “At the height of the pandemic I treated making the masks like a job. I worked on masks almost every day to keep busy and engaged. Now I have other volunteer commitments that keep me from spending the hours working on them, but I still make a point to donate 80-100 every few weeks.”

Face masks sewn by volunteer Peggy

Editor’s Note: Catholic Charities is grateful to donors and volunteers like Peggy for their gifts that continue to keep all of us safe. At this time, guests and staff are still masking up in all of our facilities and the need for masks is still ongoing. Please follow Peggy’s lead and support everyone’s safety by donating masks, homemade or otherwise, to our Distribution Center at 341 Chester Street in St. Paul. For more volunteer opportunities, please visit the volunteer page on our website. Thank you!

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Voice Podcast: Tips and Tricks for Getting Your Voice Heard by Lawmakers https://www.cctwincities.org/voice-podcast-tips-and-tricks-for-getting-your-voice-heard-by-lawmakers/ https://www.cctwincities.org/voice-podcast-tips-and-tricks-for-getting-your-voice-heard-by-lawmakers/#respond Tue, 29 Mar 2022 19:25:07 +0000 https://www.cctwincities.org/?p=30199 Lorna Schmidt, Public Policy Manager with Catholic Charities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis offers some top tips and tricks for getting lawmakers to listen to you. Lorna is joined by Paul Slack, who is the vice president of Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice with Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota.

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Lorna Schmidt, Public Policy Manager with Catholic Charities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis offers some top tips and tricks for getting lawmakers to listen to you. Lorna is joined by Paul Slack, who is the vice president of Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice with Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota.

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Building for the Future: Catholic Charities at Elliot Park https://www.cctwincities.org/building-for-the-future-catholic-charities-at-elliot-park/ https://www.cctwincities.org/building-for-the-future-catholic-charities-at-elliot-park/#respond Wed, 16 Mar 2022 21:17:43 +0000 https://www.cctwincities.org/?p=30152 Construction is nearly complete on our new location in the Elliot Park neighborhood of Minneapolis! We are excited to share that the building complex has been named Catholic Charities at Elliot Park, which will co-locate: The Frey Center will serve as the new Catholic Charities headquarters and provide workspace for over 250 staff, including Catholic... (Read More)

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Construction is nearly complete on our new location in the Elliot Park neighborhood of Minneapolis! We are excited to share that the building complex has been named Catholic Charities at Elliot Park, which will co-locate:

  • The Frey Center will serve as the new Catholic Charities headquarters and provide workspace for over 250 staff, including Catholic Charities Executive Team.
  • The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Recuperative Care Center will provide short term respite opportunities for 30 people experiencing homelessness who need additional time to recover after being released from a hospital.
  • Hennepin County Healthcare for the Homeless Clinic will offer health care to building residents and other people experiencing homelessness in the neighborhood.
  • Endeavors, formerly known as Exodus Residence, will provide permanent homes for more than 170 homeless single adults, veterans, and people with complex medical conditions. Current residents worked with staff to choose the new name, which conveys the resilience and possibilities found through each individual’s journey.

Catholic Charities at Elliot Park is a purposeful reimagining for Catholic Charities. For the first time, our Executive, Finance, Human Resources, Development, Advocacy, and Communications staff — in addition to Aging and Disability Services staff —will be located together in one space alongside residents of one of our programs.

“Co-locating our headquarters with Endeavors will allow staff to experience our mission in action,” said Catholic Charities Chief Human Resources Officer Michael McRath. “We’re excited about the opportunities ahead.”

Catholic Charities’ shared services staff will begin transitioning onsite in mid-May, while Endeavors residents will move into their new homes in June.



Fast Facts

Timeline

  • 1992

    St. Olaf pastor Monsignor Francis Fleming purchased the Mahala Fisk Pillsbury Club building behind the church on Second Avenue.

  • 1997

    Refurbishing Project involving more than 100 volunteers clean, strip floors and paint 93 rooms.

  • 1999

    Assisi on 9th Park created. Residents take great care in upkeep and planting of flowers.

  • 2006

    Exodus Hotel and Residential Structured Housing merge to become one program with a new name: Exodus Residence.

  • December, 2019

    In the midst of a statewide housing crisis, Catholic Charities purchases the new home to Exodus 2.0 building at 1007 E 14th St in the Elliot Park neighborhood of Minneapolis, providing urgently needed homes to 203 people who need housing stability, many of whom are older and medically frail, including many veterans.

  • Spring 2020

    After delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, construction on Exodus 2.0 begins to renovate the existing building to serve future residents and host Catholic Charities administrative staff.

  • Spring/Summer 2022

    Renovations at Catholic Charities at Elliot Park are nearly complete and we expect to welcome residents and staff starting in May!


Construction Progress


Media Archive

Finance and Commerce: Catholic Charities purchases Augustana Care Center
Finance and Commerce: Catholic Charities plans permanent housing
MPR News: Catholic Charities to expand housing for homeless in Minneapolis
StarTribune: Catholic Charities announces new $65M housing project in downtown Minneapolis
StarTribune Editorials: More help for those without homes
Dan Collison YouTube: “Exodus 2” Excerpt from “Poverty for No One. Opportunity for Everyone.” Short Documentary


Map


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For more than 20 years, our team at Catholic Charities Hope Street Shelter for Youth has helped thousands of youth find stability and future success. Funding to support youth experiencing homelessness has been reduced significantly in recent years. Check out this letter to the editor from Keith Kozerski, which was recently published in the Star Tribune to learn more.

Each night, nearly 5,000 Minnesota young people are without a home. It is a heartbreaking fact that young people experiencing homelessness are statistically more likely to experience poverty, abuse, racism, and homophobia — destabilizing traumas that can last into adulthood.

Last year, Catholic Charities Hope Street Shelter for Youth supported 360 Hennepin County young people seeking shelter. Along with a safe place to sleep, we provide food, clothing and medical care while trying to de-escalate the homelessness crisis at hand, helping people get back to a more stable foundation. While we only have a short time with them, we provide as much support as possible to prevent homelessness from becoming their future. Unfortunately, we are forced to turn away almost 1,000 young people each year because we lack resources to support them.

Minnesota must do better. The Homeless Youth Act is a proven investment to address the state’s youth homelessness crisis. It supports young people who would otherwise go to large single-adult shelters or stay on the streets, and it offers providers like us the flexibility to tailor services to the unique needs of young people. Like other investments in the state’s shelter system, however, funding has not met the scale of the urgent situation.

With the budget surplus, Minnesota has an opportunity to make bold investments to disrupt trends in homelessness. The Homeless Youth Act is one of them, and by supporting the most vulnerable in our community, we can all help architect a future of stability and opportunity for thousands of homeless young people.

Keith Kozerski, Minneapolis

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Community and collaboration key to Covid response https://www.cctwincities.org/community-and-collaboration-key-to-covid-response/ https://www.cctwincities.org/community-and-collaboration-key-to-covid-response/#respond Mon, 07 Mar 2022 18:10:35 +0000 https://www.cctwincities.org/?p=30118 Q & A with Chris Michels, Director of Housing Stability and Opportunity Q: The pandemic began more than two years ago. What has this time been like? Initially, there was a lot of fear and uncertainty. We didn’t have access to sufficient PPE. That people kept showing up to work is still a head-scratcher! Through... (Read More)

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Q & A with Chris Michels, Director of Housing Stability and Opportunity

Chris Michaels puts plastic sheeting on bunks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19Q: The pandemic began more than two years ago. What has this time been like?
Initially, there was a lot of fear and uncertainty. We didn’t have access to sufficient PPE. That people kept showing up to work is still a head-scratcher! Through adherence to protocols, we kept clients, staff, and volunteers safe—with low client positivity rates. Now that adrenaline is wearing off, exhaustion has set in. Unprecedented funding allowed us to keep vulnerable clients healthy and safe in hotels, but those resources are drying up. We have to repopulate shelters again and are, consequently, seeing more infections.

Q: How has the team responded?
Because of staff commitment to our clients, our doors have been open every day since the pandemic began. Staff are the front lines who call first responders. Like in hospitals, we interact closely with individuals, leaving us vulnerable to staff shortages. We have essentially operated in a trauma bubble, and that is not sustainable for anyone.

Q: How have clients faced these challenging times?
Without food or a place to stay warm, Covid has become just one more thing to persevere through. But people recognize life is harder and look out for each other. Unfortunately, clients have lost normal day-to-day interactions, many don’t operate in a virtual world, so they’re even more isolated. With Covid disrupting access to medical care and treatment, we’re also seeing an increase in physical, mental and chemical health needs.

Q: What are some of the biggest lessons learned?
Through collaboration with nonprofit and government partners, we’ve accomplished amazing things. We set up shelters where guests had a room with a door—where they could stabilize. We opened isolation centers. We hired teams to get people into housing. Covid also showed what was not working well. Homeless response systems are underfunded, and federal funds allowed us to use approaches that better met the needs of clients. Outcomes demonstrate that these new tactics worked. When we band together to focus on solutions we can accomplish a lot more!

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