Hello Church Body!
I wanted to give you a quick update on the I-HELP program. To date, we have had 7 successful graduates from our program. That is 7 men and women, made in the image of God, who are no longer homeless! To God be the glory for this amazing fact! We have another who will graduate this weekend and yet another who will be graduating very soon!
Lutheran Social Services, or LSS, has decided to no longer enroll new guests in the program during the COVID-19 crisis. We have made an appeal on this decision, as we have the capacity and safeguards in place, and we want to utilize our talents and our facilities to serve the Lord in this capacity. We will obviously continue if even only one homeless person is in the program, and we will ultimately abide by the decision of LSS.
During the COVID-19 Crisis, we still need meals delivered but we are asking that only 2 or 3 stay to serve, and none stay to eat. This is part of our safeguards. Otherwise, everything is still pretty much the same.
Beyond the Thrift Store needs of normal donations, we are asking for basic furniture items to help furnish the new homes of our graduating guests. Small tables with 2 chairs, small chests of drawers, comfortable chairs. Things like that.
Thank you so much! And God bless and keep you during these trying times,
I-HELP volunteer Coordinator
We started Oct 27 with 3 guests. We grew slowly to 12 guests. So far, we have had 7
graduate from the program with stable income and housing, and one accept Christ as
his Lord and Savior.
We continue to have strong meal support from the church body. We have had one
family drop out due to complications in their lives with the ramifications of COVID-19.
LSS has placed a moratorium on new participants until further notice due to COVID-19.
We currently stand at 5 participants.
We have temporarily lost a monitor who is in self quarantine due to contact with Tim
on March 15.
Many of the churches of the Southwest I-HELP program have dropped out of the
program due to COVID-19. As a result, we have agreed to shelter their participants
on Thursday and Saturday nights along with our own. They also have 5 participants, so
our totals on those nights are 10
LSS has ordered us forehead thermometers, due next week, so we will begin daily
testing when they arrive.
I would like to take a moment during these difficult times to thank everyone who has been participating in our I-HELP program for the homeless. Many have given of their time, talents and even funds to give a hand up to the less fortunate. We continue to provide shelter and food for program participants 5 nights a week. Additionally, we have been opening the Liberty Center daily due to the fact that the City of Surprise has closed the restrooms in all the city parks.
As with virtually every aspect of life, we have had to make adjustments to our program in the face of the COVID 19 pandemic and government mandates and requests aimed at stemming the advance of the virus in our great nation. These adjustments include disinfecting frequently touched surfaces multiple times a day, mopping the floors frequently with disinfectant, and instigating a strict hand washing program within the ministry. Now we have spread the tables out so they are at least 6 feet apart, with only 3 chairs per table.
We are asking food preparers to select no more than 3 individuals to stay and serve the food, to make certain they are wearing gloves when they serve, and to please not stay after the food is served. If participants just want to drop off the food and leave, that is fine. You will just need to use disposable serving dishes or pick your dishes up at a later date. Serving utensils are not needed; we have plenty.
Again, thank you for all you do,