This post will be continually updated to reflect the latest information. Updated: 07.02.20
If you, or someone you know, is experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking, we’re always here. 24/7 Crisis Hotline: 937-222-SAFE.
According to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, 1.42 million people use an emergency shelter or transitional housing program at some point during a calendar year, meaning that 1 in 226 people in the U.S. experience sheltered homelessness.
When a pandemic like COVID-19 (Coronavirus) strikes, it can affect the whole population – shelters included. Since YWCA Dayton provides 24-hour residential services, it is necessary for our services to be continuous, even in the face of a health crisis.
“We are focused on maintaining mission-focused care, safety, and response to women and children with emergent needs in safety, housing, and programming, 24 hours every single day,” said Shannon Isom, YWCA Dayton president and CEO.
Added Nicholas Hubbard, manager of special projects and interim facilities manager: “The health, safety, and well-being of our service recipients, staff, and volunteers is a top priority and we are educating, monitoring, and addressing questions and concerns daily. We maintain a comprehensive safety plan that has anticipated events like the COVID-19 outbreak. In consultation with public health officials, we are currently following this best-practice designed plan.”
He reiterated the need to avoid others if you are sick; wash your hands thoroughly and frequently; refrain from touching your face or anyone else’s face; and cough or sneeze into your elbow.
Additional internal precautions to combat the spread of COVID-19 include:
- Ensuring all shared spaces are sanitized at least every hour by staff and that clients/residents have access to personal cleaning supplies
- Providing options for shelter clients to eat meals outside of regular meal schedules, and in private areas
- Asking clients/residents to communicate as much as possible by phone, instead of face-to-face contact, with each other and staff
- Providing a safe location for walk-in clients to communicate via phone with crisis services staff
- Monitoring temperatures and health symptoms of all staff and authorized vendors/visitors
- Requiring all employees, visitors, and vendors to wear face masks and providing multiple face masks to all clients and residents
In addition, YWCA Dayton continues to monitor and asses upcoming events for necessity and health concerns. Women of Influence — YW’s largest fundraiser and the largest nonprofit luncheon in Dayton — which was originally slated for March 12 and then postponed until June 3 — has been paused until it is clearly safe to hold the event, in accordance with Gov. Mike DeWine’s executive order banning mass gatherings.
Also, the following precautions are in effect:
- Facility rentals are allowed on a case-by-case basis, and all renters must follow the guidelines for authorized visitors listed above.
- All general visitors are on hold. This includes requests to use our central building lobby restroom and/or vending machines.
- Only new and unopened donations (plus cloth face masks), by appointment only, are being accepted. To schedule an appointment, contact Rick Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-461-5550 x108.
- Volunteers (including groups of 10 people or less) are allowed, following the authorized visitor guidelines listed above. Volunteers are also encouraged to arrange virtual opportunities; contact email@example.com.
Domestic violence is known to increase in times of economic hardship; the number of domestic violence cases reported to local police in Hubei province, in China, has nearly tripled in February after many people were quarantined in January due to the virus. (Source) Walk-in clients are still being accepted at our central building (141 W. Third St.), and our 24/7 Crisis Hotline remains available: 937-222-SAFE (7233).
“Most importantly, we will continue to provide shelter services to survivors in our community,” said Tia Lurie, director of operations. “This is an unprecedented situation and we are continuously assessing and adjusting how we approach our services in response to this pandemic to ensure the health and safety of our clients, our staff, and our community.”