An update from Shawn in Patchwork’s main office:
Hospitality has been in full swing even though we’ve had to resort to outdoor hospitality. We still have our group of regulars who show up out front with their masks on and all bundled up to drink coffee, have snacks, and visit with one another. Word gets out that we’re open and new faces join the group as well.
I’ve had to call Aurora on several different occasions, and they send their outreach team over to meet with folks who are homeless. We were able to find a shelter for a young woman who reached out to me for help because she was homeless and recently released from jail with no place to go. Thankfully there was an opening at Ruth’s House, and we got her in.
Thanks to donations of gloves and socks, I’m able to hand out items to help people stay a little warmer. It’s difficult not being able to let people in the building to get warm, but they are all so grateful for the coffee, snacks, and other resources we can help them with that I never hear much complaining.
I was coming in to work several weeks ago and a guy rode by on a bike and was celebrating with a big, “Yee Haw! This is a great day!” I learned later that Pete had just given him a bike for transportation to work, and he was thrilled.
Our food pantry has seen a number of new families that have never had to use a pantry before. We continue to have our monthly visitors who need a little extra food for the month. Those who visit the food pantry are always thankful to see the fresh produce we have to offer.
We continue to be unable to have folks come in to take a shower, but often people come to the window and ask me for hygiene products. I make up bags with soap, shampoo, a facemask, a new pair of socks, toothpaste, a toothbrush, lotion, and a razor.
For the health ministry, Mary is here on Thursdays, and she has been able to check on those showing up with health issues. John is here most mornings, so it’s nice to be able to call on him if someone is having a medical problem. We had a guest who had been attacked by a dog, resulting in a wound that John and Mary helped to keep an eye on until it healed. We also had a guest who had severe pain in his hands, and John was able to look at him, help him calm down, and refer him to the Echo clinic.
It has been an adjustment, but with the help of all our wonderful volunteers and interns I feel we are still able to provide services that benefit our neighborhood.