Over New Year’s weekend, two individuals experiencing homelessness passed away due to the cold temperatures. These deaths shed light on housing shortages due to limited capacity caused by COVID-19. In response to the housing shortages due to limited capacity caused by COVID-19, the city and the Hope Faith Assistance Campus have opened an Emergency Cold Weather Center. Heart to Heart International opened a first aid station in support of Hope Faith Homeless Assistance Campus’ Cold Weather Center.
The First Aid Station at the center is operational Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday from 3pm – 8pm. HHI conducts COVID-19 testing for all residents and offers services for minor wound care and wellness checks. Hope Faith provides transportation to residents from the CWC to the Hope Faith Assistance Campus. Individuals needing additional care can go to the Hope Faith clinic to see the HHI provider.
In addition to providing direct patient care, HHI also provided guidance on the development of COVID-19 risk mitigation plan for the center, including hand sanitizer at all entrances, social distancing requirements, use of facemasks, cleaning procedures, daily staff screening, and initial and follow on COVID-19 testing for residents/staff.
The shelter has 28 rooms that have been outfitted with cots, sleeping bags, and inflatable pillows. Rooms not only house individuals but can accommodate families. The sleeping bags and inflatable pillows will be theirs to keep. Hope Faith’s case management works to get these individuals/families into transitional housing as a more sustainable solution as the Cold Weather Center is for emergency sheltering during these winter months. Operation BBQ is providing three meals a day (not only BBQ ) that are boxed and delivered to the rooms.
As of January 26, 2021, 47 people are being housed at the center. This project is critical to bringing access to healthcare to vulnerable populations in the winter, an especially difficult times for people experiencing homelessness.
If you are a LPN or RN with three years of experience providing direct patient care and are interested in working at the Hope Faith Cold Weather Center, please contact Tena Tiruneh at Tena.Tiruneh@hearttoheart.org.
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