April 24, 2020:
TLC, a program of Tabor Community Services, continues operating as a life-sustaining service seeking to keep participants and staff safe and healthy while also continuing to do all we can to assist participants in their journey toward permanent housing. This has required significant changes.
The TLC building is now “closed” to the public – front doors remain locked 24/7; no guests or visitors can enter including volunteers and those bringing donations. Donations of food and other needed items are still accepted but are received at the door. Participants still come and go as they wish, but all are encouraged to follow the stay-at-home orders. Many have lost their jobs – impeding their efforts to secure permanent housing.
While participants, like the rest of us, sometimes experience frustration and discouragement regarding these setbacks, for the most part they are coping and managing amazingly well and keep pressing on to achieve their goals. Already in April, 5 households – 2 veterans and 3 families – have moved from TLC into permanent housing and one family is preparing to welcome a new baby in early May. While daily activities have changed in many ways, life still goes on in wonderful and amazingly resilient ways – even during this tragic pandemic.
Only a skeleton crew – deemed critical for basic operations – is working onsite at TLC. The programs manager and case management staff are working remotely by phone, text and email. The on-site staff are wiping down the common areas multiple times on every shift, keeping up with essential maintenance tasks, and assisting participants in ways that cannot be done remotely. Social distancing efforts include that no one is permitted in the elevator with anyone who is not in their household. Participants now eat meals in their rooms rather than in the lounges and family room. Families now sign up to schedule time in the family room to minimize direct contact between children of different households, and everyone is limiting their time in the common areas, even though it’s hard being cooped up in one small hotel-style room all day every day.
Thankfully, to date, no one at TLC – participants or staff – has yet had COVID-19 symptoms. Thanks to the generosity of many supporters who made and donated homemade face masks we have acquired enough washable cloth masks for all participants and staff to wear them at all times while in the common areas. We are also implementing a daily screening procedure used for everyone living at TLC. This will allow us to discover any COVID-related symptoms more quickly so we can limit the spread of the virus in the building if/when someone gets sick.
The most pressing needs at TLC right now include:
Larger sized disposable diapers (especially sizes 5 and 6)
Single serve frozen meals that are microwavable to be used if/when we need to prepare and deliver meals to participants who must quarantine in their rooms as a result of COVID-19 symptoms or positive tests
Ready to eat single-serve sized canned soups
Canned meats especially chicken and tuna (no Spam please – it is currently well supplied)
Financial contributions for our client assistance funds to support participants who have lost their income to get through this crisis without falling further behind.
Thank you for being such an amazing and wonderfully supportive community and for continuing to hold TLC in your thoughts and prayers in these challenging times!