Tuesday Update – April 21, 2020

April 21, 2020

A Note from Our Deacon

Dear St. Paul’s,


I wanted to give you an update on how Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) is responding to COVID-19 in Contra Costa County.


As I mentioned on Sunday, my team and I have been activated as Disaster Service Workers. This means that our assignments have changed, our work hours have changed, and in some cases our duties have changed.


Due to the risk of being in congregate living situations, the county has taken the step of moving unsheltered unhoused people into motels, starting with the most medically fragile and higher risk age group. Currently there are two motels that are almost filled and one more coming online this week.


HCH, with its staff of RNs, Community Health Workers, mental health clinicians, doctors and nurse practitioners, have committed to continuing to provide medical and mental health support to the folks staying at the motels. We will be doing this with a combination of telehealth and in-person visits. This is challenging as we need to consider the safety of our staff and mitigate the risk as much as we can. HCH is also providing mobile COVID testing for suspected cases who have been moved to a special hotel for symptomatic, possibly infected homeless people.


We are providing services 7 days a week, which is why I will be working every other weekend, alternating weekends with another clinic services program manager. My current plan for staffing has only one team of two clinicians on the weekend so that each team works only one weekend per month with most of the services being provided during the week. I hope the volume of work allows this for as long as possible.


Each and every person on the HCH team has already gone the extra mile and contributed to figuring out how to do what we do in such different and difficult circumstances. All have expressed commitment to staying together as a team and supporting one another. They are awesome and I would love for St. Paul’s to pray for them.


How you can help:


  •  Sew cloth masks. We are going to end up with well over 300 people in shelter hotels, so I know this is a big ask. But if congregants are making masks in bulk to give away, I would be happy to take as many as people can spare. You can put them in the box on the back porch of the Rectory.


  • Donate men’s & women’s socks to leave with on-site shelter staff to give away as needed. Anne Seed had the good idea of ordering them online and having them shipped to my address, which is listed in the directory.


Otherwise, things have changed so much and it’s hard to give a brief summary. I’m sure you can imagine the many details I have left out.


The congregation of St. Paul’s had been very kind and loving to the homeless in Solano and especially Contra Costa counties, and I am very grateful for anything anyone would like to contribute.


Most importantly though are our prayers for these very vulnerable people who especially need prayer at this time.


Thank you,

Rev. Beth