Coronavirus Update: Fall 2021
In the face of all the challenges these past months, we are proud to say that Good Shepherd has remained dedicated to its mission: To feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and foster transition to housing.
We continue to offer a range of services to our guests. Our Night Shelter operates at reduced capacity allowing us to follow all appropriate safety protocols. We continue to provide three hot and nutritious meals a day to guests. Every week, we also prepare and distribute boxes of groceries to newly housed guests, thus ensuring they do not need to live in fear of hunger. Our Day Shelter and Soup Kitchen have flexed operations based on active Covid cases. We will reopen these operations just as soon as we can safely do so.
Currently the New Hanover County Health Department is supporting regular testing of guests and staff. If there is an infection or even if someone is showing symptoms of an infection, we isolate them to prevent spread. While we, like almost every organization, have not escaped Covid completely, we have minimized the spread among our vulnerable guests. We have reached a vaccination rate greater than 85% for our homeless guests, and as boosters become available, will be supporting eligible guests and staff alike in accessing them.
Perhaps our most important accomplishment is that we have assisted more than 100 homeless adults and children to transition into supportive and affordable housing since the start of this year. There is nothing we find more gratifying than helping an individual or a family move from the tragedy of homelessness to an attractive and affordable home.
What’s Next for Good Shepherd:
Building on the success of last year’s Eviction Prevention programming, we are honored to partner with CFPUA, the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County to assist Covid-affected households through the distribution of $1 million in emergency utility assistance. (Applications can be found at www.cfpua.org/relief). These funds will go a long way in helping support people who simply cannot afford their utility bills during this trying period.
While we navigate through the short-term impacts of Covid, we are also developing a longer-range plan to build or manage a significant number of additional supportive housing units in the region. Today there is a severe lack of such housing options for those who need it most. We are excited that we can make significant contributions to this challenge. We look forward to sharing more information about these plans soon.
We Do This Together:
We are grateful to our Good Shepherd employees, to our volunteers and to all who financially support our efforts.
Our staff have worked tirelessly through the phases of this pandemic. Where many organizations had the option of having employees work from home, that was never an option for most of our team. They have stood up to every challenge, adapted to every situation and continue to do their best to serve the community.
Our volunteers, many of whom needed to be extra careful about personal exposure have just been wonderful. For a time we could not have volunteers in the building and this situation remains fluid as we flex our Soup Kitchen and Day Shelter operations. But our volunteers have stood by us. Simply put, Good Shepherd could not operate effectively without their continued commitment to helping our guests.
Finally, we are deeply appreciative for the support of so many in our community who have made financial contributions or simply shared words of encouragement. Now, more than ever, your support makes a huge difference in helping our homeless and hungry neighbors. If you would like to help, please make checks payable to Good Shepherd Center and mail to 811 Martin Street, Wilmington, NC 28401. You can also access our wish list on Amazon.com.
In an era of so much division and side taking, it should be rewarding for all of us to see how staff, volunteers and community have come together to support our neighbors who most needed help. We are forever grateful.
Coronavirus Update: February 2021
We continue to operate the shelter at half capacity in order to keep guests safe through social distancing. We are doing our best to house homeless families and individuals who reach out to us by directly connecting them with landlords and available units. Since the start of our fiscal year last July, we have moved over 115 men, women, and families with children from homelessness to housing of their own.
Contactless bags of groceries and pantry items are available on a first-come, first-served basis, as supplies last, each Wednesday at 12 noon. We continue to provide three hot and nutritious meals a day for our shelter guests.
We remain conscientious in implementing safety measures for staff and guests, including the wearing of masks, use of hand sanitizer, and education efforts around proper handwashing.
As part of our Eviction Prevention Programs, we processed over 1300 application and assisted hundreds with rental assistance and utility payments, ensuring they could safely remain housed.
As the pandemic continues to challenge us, we are buoyed by the support of so many in our community who have made financial contributions. We are deeply grateful to those who shared their stimulus checks with us. Now, more than ever, your support makes a huge difference in helping our homeless and hungry neighbors during these difficult times. If you would like to help, please make checks payable to Good Shepherd Center and mail to 811 Martin Street, Wilmington, NC 28401. You can also access our wish list on Amazon.com (https://smile.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/222N3ER2M1XW1/ref=cm_go_nav_hz).
We thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we are working without our usual corps of 500 volunteers and our priority remains the safety and well-being of our homeless guests.
Wishing you and yours continued good health.