COVID-19 updates from Open House Ministries will be here, starting with the most recent. Thank you for prayers during this time. Open House residents and staff are pulling together and positive!
COVID-19 Update: From Executive Director Reneé Stevens
April 23, 2020
Greetings from the staff at Open House Ministries. We hope your families and friends are doing well through this difficult time of new challenges.
This past month has brought many changes with it and our staff and residents have been resilient adjusting to new schedules and policies. We have worked diligently to alter our distancing patterns while creating an atmosphere of love and support for each other and the families in our shelter. Many of our staff members are working remotely and we are still operating without volunteers on campus.
The residents continue to receive vital training and counseling through individual and virtual connections. Our work continues to help each family reach their goals for restoration and independence however, the process of gathering in groups for extra support has made the progress a challenge. As a result, there is a new appreciation for community trust and connection at the shelter.
Our pantry has been blessed by caring donors and community partners. We are encouraging anyone who wants to help to please call for a current needs list. Our volunteers are checking in and we miss them so much. The thrift store and bike shop remain closed in order to follow safety guidelines for workers and shoppers. In the meantime, we are cleaning out spaces and reorganizing for the day we get to reopen to the public.
Waiting is challenging. But we know from Scripture, those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. (Isaiah 40:31) We ask you for your continued prayer and support for Open House Ministries as we continue to pray for you. Please stay safe while we all wait.
From Executive Director Reneé Stevens — March 21, 2020
Greetings from the staff at Open House Ministries.
Our residents and staff would like to thank you for your prayers and concerns for Open House Ministries. God’s grace has been evident as we go about our daily lives during this pandemic. Everyone is adjusting to new training procedures, while practicing safe-distancing policies. I am grateful for the patience and quick responses we’ve received from so many in our community.
As our volunteer work force has been sent home and our thrift store is temporarily closed, we are experiencing an overflow of clothing donations at our shelter facility. We kindly ask all of you to limit any donations to food items, toiletries and cleaning supplies, until our thrift store has reopened. Then we can make more space for your gifts.
Our staff and residents are using this time to diligently clean and organize our shelter, looking forward to the day when Open House Ministries can return to normal. Please know our donation needs will resume when our thrift store, Secondhand Solutions, reopens. Until then, please continue to pray and know how grateful we are for each one of you.
From Executive Director Reneé Stevens — March 16, 2020
Greetings from the staff at Open House Ministries. I am reaching out to reassure and inform everyone of the precautions we’re taking to keep our residents, staff, volunteers, donors and the greater community safe. It is our priority to continue to serve our community in a loving, caring and responsible manner.
We have taken extensive steps to sanitize our facilities and have placed hand sanitizer stations at each entrance and exit. As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we are disinfecting regularly and have posted signs to remind folks on how to properly wash their hands. We are carefully monitoring all updates and have formed an on-site response team to handle any changing situation. I have personally been in contact with our local health department, and we are actively implementing the CDC’s interim guidelines for homeless shelters into our daily routine.
As an added precaution, we are suspending thrift store pick-ups and deliveries for the next week. Beginning today, Secondhand Solutions Thrift Store hours will change. Until further notice, the store will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Our bike shop hours will remain unchanged. Donations of supplies will be accepted, as we continue to implement sanitizing procedures.
Please pray for the safety and health of our residents, staff and volunteers as they tirelessly serve in this very challenging time for so many in our community. At Open House Ministries, we are trusting God is in control as we focus on His guidance through this process and remember we work better together!
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” — Isaiah 41:10