Homelessness takes no ‘sick days,’ so Union Gospel Mission sets up screening practices to protect people it serves, staff and guests from COVID-19

How does one ‘shelter in place’ when one has no shelter? Mission in St. Paul reduces anxieties, separates groups for meals, shifts staff duties, preps for quarantine situation

WHO: Men experiencing homelessness in St. Paul undergo pre-entry screening via tent setups at Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities Men’s Campus Staff shifted to respond to COVID-19 crisis, number of people served up slightly for this time of year.” Leaders working for weeks to reduce COVID-19 risks for everyone involved. Health care and food service volunteers and staff. Mission serves about 600 meals to men each day.

 WHAT:  Union Gospel Twin Cities Men’s Campus implements health screening process, limits entrance points, reduces group sizes for meals, changes emergency shelter sleeping arrangements, suspends adult education program, offers mental health services to people it serves via teletherapy, sets up quarantine spaces, prepares to send any positive COVID-19 cases out to Mary Hall Residential Housing and Ramsey County’s Boys Totem Town. Note: there are no cases of COVID-19 at the Mission.
 WHEN:  Thursday, March 26, breakfast group serving from 6:45 to 7:30 a.m.
WHERE: Union Gospel Mission Men’s Campus, 435 University Avenue East, St. Paul.
WHY:  Homelessness doesn’t take a sick day, so services must continue, while reducing risks. Mission says, “If you are homeless, we love you and will care for you.” 
HOW: Media invited to go through screening process and film within facility, capturing story of one major nonprofit’s approach to COVID-19 risk reduction for vulnerable and often overlooked population.