“We’re all in this together.” It seems cliché, but I have seen it manifest itself in so many ways at The Relatives. Thanks to you, our doors have remained open for those in our community who have nowhere else to go.
We have seen new faces and those we know well coming to our On Ramp resource center to work toward their goals, which are ever-changing and constantly growing in this pandemic. And, while we reduced the shelter capacity at our Crisis Center from 9 to 6, the center still operates 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week for those who need counseling and respite. Our housing work continues and we’ve been able to move 15 individuals, including young children, into homes since the beginning of March. I am happy to report that, through all of this, there have been ZERO confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst The Relatives staff and youth.
Life as we know it has changed and we had to make adjustments to ensure that we continue to provide a safe haven for youth and young adults in crisis. We adhere to all recommendations by the CDC and local government: we conduct health screenings for staff and youth who visit our programs; we clean and sanitize every surface at both locations throughout the day and have a deep-cleaning done twice a week; to ensure that we have sufficient time to deep clean at the end of the day, we close our On Ramp resource center at 4:30pm; we limit the number of youth and staff in our buildings; and, masks are available for all.
Based on Phase 2 guidance, we will continue with the protocols currently in place. With more places opening, we must be even more vigilant to protect our staff, youth, and young adults. Therefore, we continue to restrict all visitors and on-site volunteers to our programs. One of the hardest adjustments I’ve had to make is not seeing our loyal supporters on campus. We truly do rely on your generosity to provide not only meals, but impactful interactions for our kids. You are part of our team and it is not the same without you. Many of you have gone above and beyond to have meals delivered to our programs, or host a virtual workshop for our young adults, and I couldn’t be more grateful for you as you find new ways to be a Relative.
As things are constantly changing, I want to keep you in the loop on how we’re responding and thriving in this new way of life. We are fortunate to have so many partners in our community, including you, who are stepping up to the plate for our youth. Be on the lookout for a bi-weekly newsletter with more information on what’s happening in our programs.
Thank you for being a Relative and for sticking together with our youth!