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Hope Ministries closes to visitors and volunteers

Because of the efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, Hope Ministries will temporarily close their doors to visitors and volunteers.

Hope Ministries has 100 men, women and children who live there and in order to keep their residents safe, they want to limit any potential transmission from the outside.

Hope will continue to serve lunch and dinner and will continue the weather amnesty services.

As of Monday, March 16, only Hope clients and staff members will be permitted in our buildings.

They will continue to accept donations at the front door. If you are making a donation, you can enter the front as usual or call 574-235-4150 ext. 221 when you arrive. Currently they are only accepting clothing and personal hygiene items.

Full statement from Hope Ministries:

In response to conversations with the St. Joseph County Health Department and in cooperation with the national effort to limit the spread of the new coronavirus, Hope Ministries is announcing that we will temporarily close our doors to all individuals and groups who volunteer and visit us.  This is a very difficult decision as we rely so heavily on the help of friends in the community to assist in our mission.

Hope faces some unusually difficult realities with this public health concern.   We serve an especially vulnerable population and are highly concerned about the health impact that a COVID-19 diagnosis would have here at Hope.  We therefore must do everything we can to limit the potential transmission of the virus from the outside. 

At the same time, we know that if the virus comes into our population, it will be very challenging to control its spread.  While most of the nation is being told to self-quarantine when they show symptoms or are diagnosed with the virus, this is not an option for the 100 men, women, and children who live with us in this building.  There is no where else for them to go.  We must therefore take steps to limit the potential spread of the virus from our population to outside volunteers and visitors.

Hope will continue to serve lunch and dinner to everyone in need of a meal, and will continue our overnight weather amnesty services to everyone in need of a warm place to sleep.  Both of these ministries are literally lifelines for many individuals and families in the community.  There is obvious risk in continuing these ministries that serve large numbers of people without the ability to screen for symptoms or illnesses.  Our staff know that the risk is part of our calling and we are committed to serving these neighbors.  But we want to protect our outside volunteers and visitors from this risk.

For all of these reasons the prudent course of action for us to take is our own organizational “self-quarantine”.  Therefore, as of Monday, March 16, only Hope clients and staff members will be permitted in our buildings.

We will continue to accept donations of clothing and personal hygiene items at our front door.  Those making donations are free to enter at the front as usual or call 574-235-4150 ext. 221 when you arrive at Hope and we will come to your car outside of the building to accept your donation.  During this period of time we would ask that only clothing and personal hygiene items be brought.

Thank you for understanding!  We will continue to monitor the need for these restrictions, and let you know as soon as it is prudent to lift them.

SPECIAL NOTE TO MEAL VOLUNTEERS

While we are not able to have you come and serve in our kitchen at this time, donations of food are more important than ever.  We would be very grateful if you could donate the food for a meal.  You can donate the same food items you would have prepared, or you can contact us for a shopping list, or you could even make a cash donation and we will purchase the food.  Any way in which you are able to continue your support of our ministry during this unprecedented time will be a tremendous blessing.

Please contact Ali Silverraven if you have questions or need direction on how to bring your ingredients to Hope.

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