As community concern about the spread of Corona Virus is increasing by the day, Micah's collaboration of churches is prepared to transform compassion provided through our various ministries until concerns about the virus subside. Although the health department has expressed no immediate concern about people contracting the virus from the homeless population, they have advised that volunteers coming to serve our neighbors may be carriers. Our state and federal partners have also expressed that the living situations of our Micah community leave a high likelihood that the virus will reach the homeless population at some point. Out of love for all of our neighbors—volunteers, seniors, homeless and others—our churches we are taking the following immediate actions:
• Suspension of the congregate community meals, effective Monday, March 16, until further notice. Breakfast and dinner teams have been asked to work with us to address the hunger needs of our neighbors through our hospitality center at 1013 Princess Anne St. Non-perishable or individually wrapped items have been suggested for daily delivery.
• Re-locating the noonday lenten services online to Micah's Facebook page. Join us live at our regularly scheduled time at noon.
• Implementing social distancing protocol to the extent possible and strongly advising safety measures among those bringing food and continuing to volunteer. Protocol includes:
• Screening volunteers for symptoms and recommending that anyone who feels sick should stay home.
• Wash your hands for a full 20 seconds and do not touch your face
• Use hand sanitizer and rub your hands until it dries
Note that Corona Virus is transferred by close contact or passing from surfaces. Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath. It has a 2-14 days incubation period with symptoms usually appearing on fifth day. However, many people who come in contact with the virus are asymptomatic and may show no sign of being sick, but could infect others. We have also been assured if someone in our Micah community contracts the disease that they will work with us on proper quarantine protocol.
Micah will continue to monitor the situation and will implement additional safety precautions as circumstances require. As this added support from our hospitality center is likely to increase volunteer need, we can absolutely utilize those who would like to continue serving through this season. If you are interested in volunteering, the immediate need will be Monday through Friday from 9am and 1pm. Please contact both Margie at firstname.lastname@example.org AND Chelsea at email@example.com to get plugged in. As we see how our immediate changes work and what kind of help is available, we may consider altering or offering other hours as well.
Other ways to help include donations of hand sanitizer, toilet paper, reusable shopping bags for people to pick up their food every day and online donations. The impact of this virus is unknown for many aspects of our community, particularly those on the street, and we we are very thankful for whatever support available.
PLEASE NOTE: We cannot accept catering style, prepared meals at this time. If you are looking to support our efforts to feed our neighbors and are not part of a regular meal group, please coordinate with our staff.
As it is our churches' mission through Micah to cultivate community and care neighbors, we are passionately committed to “weathering” this virus with compassion. It is only for a season, that we are suggesting redirection of activities, so as to minimize how powerful this thing that divides us could become. Our hope and prayer is that we reconvene in our church homes around the table as the beloved community that we are sooner than later.