COVID-19 Update | March 13, 2020

To our loving, supportive community:  

I wanted to send a note to you all updating you on the status of Friendship House as our community is preparing for a possible outbreak of the coronavirus, or COVID-19.    

The health, safety and well-being of our staff, clients, and volunteers remain our number one priority. This is difficult to manage at times because the needs and wants can vary greatly from person to person. Your patience with us as we continue to respond is greatly appreciated. Thank you.    

All Friendship House locations continue to stay open. During times like these our services are needed more than ever. People we work with every day already struggle with limited resources. It pains us to see any additional barriers put in their way due to this virus. As employers may cut hours, child and family care needs increase at home, and the lack of safe, physical space for many to live and sleep continues to be an issue, we are here to do what we can to keep our community safe and loved.  
 
We recognize we may not be able to continue everything we do; however, we will try to keep as much open as we are able. At every location, staff are wiping down anything and everything that people touch as frequently as possible. (I have personally never seen our operations quite so clean!) We are also practicing social distancing and discouraging large group gatherings.  
 
You have already received countless emails and messages about good hygiene, avoiding proximity to people, and symptoms of the virus. We thought it might be important to be reminded of some other things:    
Be kind : Not everyone who coughs, sniffles or is tired is sick. We are already entering allergy season, for example. Some people already have chronic concerns that affect their daily health.  
Be thoughtful : Make appropriate decisions for you and those around you. Wash your hands constantly and thoroughly – you are the best defense for preventing yourself and others from getting sick (kind of makes you a super hero!)  
Be courteous : Check on your loved ones, go the extra distance when someone else is in need and you are able to help. If you are sick or think you are sick, please stay clear of others, especially those at more risk of severe complications. Give if you can give, and take if you are in need.  
Be patient : Most people are trying to do what’s best for themselves and others, assume good intentions and do not add to the panic.  
Pray : These are trying times for us all and, as we know, God is with us.  

Help us with funding: We anticipate the need for financial assistance to our community will increase in the coming months as financial burdens increase from the effects of this virus.  

If you are an active volunteer, you should receive a message from us regarding what to expect and how to proceed. If you want more information or have not received these emails, please reach out to our Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@friendshiphousede.org.  

Your love and support is greatly appreciated. I am impressed with the patience, decision making, and creativity our community is using in response to this crisis. If we have learned anything from our ancestors, it is that we are an amazing species capable of amazing things. God did well in creating us. Trust we, too, will overcome this virus.  

Please stay tuned via our Facebook page for updates and reach out to us with any concerns.   Thank you for the prayers, notes of well wishes, and concern for us all we have received. Your love is greatly felt.  

Your friends always,
Kim Eppehimer
Executive Director

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