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September 20, 2021- TOLEDO (Ohio) – The end of the eviction moratorium, staff over-time, increased expenses, less volunteer help, and a rise in people needing help are impacting our kitchen, library, Mac Street Café — critical to providing meals, shelter and a path toward a changed life.
Cherry Street is providing emergency shelter to 33% more people as compared to the same time last year. From May to August the organization saw 400% more new faces arriving, homeless for the first time in their life- all due to COVID-19.
Furthermore, the shelter has experienced an increase in COVID-19 positive cases. At this time, 10% of the men and women served by Cherry Street are positive for COVID-19. Following the guidelines of the CDC, positive guests are receiving appropriate care and have been separated from others.
It’s not winter and yet the shelter beds are filling up. Nonetheless, Ann Ebbert, CEO/President of Cherry Street; the area’s largest emergency shelter; said “We will not turn men and women away”.
Cherry Street’s staff are exceptional and already utilize healthy practices for preventing the spread of disease and viruses. Led by the facilities team, Cherry Street is using strategies that have proven useful and are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
This includes the frequent disinfection of hard surfaces and high traffic areas. Face masks must be worn by all guests, employees, visitors, volunteers and partners.
Cherry Street has been working ceaselessly to ensure the health and safety of those served is at the forefront. Due in large part to those measures, since the pandemic began, no one staying at Cherry Street has died because of COVID-19.
Cherry Street has been well stocked with food, soap, bottled water, hand sanitizer, cleaning chemicals, and disinfectant wipes. However, extraordinary purchases and the increase in the amount of people needing emergency assistance from the organization is unprecedented and has affected the budget of the organization.
Throughout the pandemic, ministry programs have not yet been impacted. It is crucial the care and provision to those served at Cherry Street continues uninterrupted as it has since 1947. Monetary support from the public will help bridge the gaps.
Cherry Street will continue to care for the most vulnerable in the community and care for people living in poverty. Donations and the wish list can be viewed on the website: https://cherrystreetmission.org/
Source: The Village Reporter