Patchwork’s Neighborhood Hospitality is all about being here to chat. It’s about saying hello and having time to talk. It’s about being here to check on old friends. It’s about a good cup of coffee and time to vent. It’s about telling tall tales and laughing together. It’s even about meeting the neighborhood’s famous Amazon parrot Midler (pictured above eating Goldfish crackers on Mary’s shoulder).
Through conversation, someone may mention that they have an ongoing health concern that they haven’t been able to get adequately addressed by their doctor, so John and Mary offer their assistance. Or maybe someone could use some fresh salad mix, potatoes, or oranges from the food pantry, so one of our Hospitality volunteers puts the produce together and brings it out to them. Or maybe someone needs to connect with another agency, so they chat with Shawn in the main office and she helps them make some phone calls.
Our Neighborhood Hospitality continues to change and adjust to COVID-safety protocols. For the last nine months, almost all of our Hospitality activities have taken place outdoors on Patchwork’s front lawn to help with distancing and air flow. After much discussion and research, and with local COVID rates at very low levels, we recently decided to offer showers once again. The showers are available by appointment only, and currently there is a limit of three men’s and three women’s showers per day so we have time to sanitize in between each shower.
Shawn reports from the Main Office that:
Since this is a recent development, not many people are aware of our reopening showers so we’ve only had a few so far. A slow reopening is preferred so that we are able to work through all the details as we go. We are able to provide towels, washcloths, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, lotion, razors, etc. to those who need them. One of our regulars who has been asking about showers for months was very thankful that he was the first one to take a shower after a year of having them closed due to COVID. We are taking small steps and doing the best we can to provide services for our neighbors while also keeping one another safe and healthy. Reinventing Hospitality has been a challenge, but it has been well worth it and I’m proud of how we have all adapted (Patchwork staff, volunteers and visiting neighbors)!
Two of our good friends and regulars suffered from strokes this past month. Thankfully, they were able to get to the hospital and get the treatment they needed in order to limit the severity of the stroke. They both come here each week to discuss their healing with John and Mary and to have their blood pressures checked. One of the gentlemen told me Patchwork was his home away from home. He lives alone and has always enjoyed the fellowship of Patchwork, but after his stroke he says Patchwork is a place he can come and not feel so alone. He says in this meeting place he feels comforted by the care and concern he is shown and how everyone here reaches out to help him. He said Patchwork makes him feel loved.
We are grateful for all our interns and volunteers who keep things running smoothly on a daily basis and for the ways they welcome and interact with everyone who visits our building. They are all willing to step up and help out wherever they are needed and that is indeed a blessing.