March 19, 2020
The Corona Virus continues to change the way that we are able to provide services. We are in constant contact with State and Local Officials asking for clarification on the guidance that is being sent each day. Operating an emergency shelter for families makes some of the recommendations very difficult to achieve. Families do not comply with social distancing (it just isn’t how they operate): children run to their parents, teenagers hang on their parents when they want something, couples hug.
It is contrary to our nature as an organization to place limits on accessing help, but these are not typical or ordinary times. In order to keep both our clients and staff as safe as possible, we will be implementing the following changes:
- Our day center is closed to outside community members. We wish to continue serving anyone who is hungry, so sack breakfast and dinner meals will be provided at the gate. The gates will continue to be monitored.
- Our restrooms will no longer be open to the public.
Our goal is to protect clients, families and staff from harm resulting from exposure to an emergent infectious disease while they are in our facility. The policies will be imperfect, but they are an attempt to care for our people.
We will continue to provide updates as this unfolds.
March 16, 2020
With many of the most vulnerable members of our community relying on us for food and shelter, we are taking every precaution possible to remain safely accessible during this time. The following measures will be put into place effective March 17, 2020:
- All clients and community members must wash hands when entering and exiting the campus. Gate Monitors will be stations at both entrances to ensure compliance.
- Sack breakfasts will be given to outside community members in need at the gate beginning Thursday morning, March 19, 2020.
- We are still serving community dinners at this point in time.
- All clients over 65 years of age are asked to quarantine themselves in the designated rooms while sleeping as an added precaution.
- We are still accepting drive-up donations of food, hygiene items, etc.
- Wishlist fulfillment and donation delivery/pick ups are temporarily unavailable for the next few weeks and until further notice.
- Discovery Depot childcare will close at the end of business day on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
March 13, 2020
On March 11, 2020, BHC staff participated in a conference call hosted by the State of California. They provided guidance specifically for organizations that serve Homeless Populations. They also specifically encouraged service providers to not reduce their services or to exclude people out of fear.
In an effort to do our part to flatten the curve and provide a safe and sanitary environment, we will be enacting the following policies:
We will have mobile handwashing stations outside of our dining room and everyone will be required to wash their hands before entering.
We are adding additional janitorial hours. Staff will be cleaning hard surfaces campus wide frequently throughout the day, including door handles. They are also encouraged to use hand sanitizer upon entering or exiting any staff meetings.
Any clients displaying respiratory symptoms or fever will be moved to newly identified isolation rooms and Kern County Public Health will be notified.
This is not an exhaustive list, but some of the main ways that we are seeking to ensure the good health of our staff, clients, and community members.
We will continue to make modifications as the situation changes. What is certain is that we will continue to serve the most vulnerable members of our community with the same compassion and dedication as we do everyday.