April 15, 2020
Numbers tell a story.

As news of Covid-19 began to swirl, wreaking havoc on our communities across the country, City with Dwellings has doubled down on our commitment to our neighbors experiencing homelessness. With your help and support, we have responded to the critical needs of our community in only the ways CwD can: radical hospitality. 

Over the last four weeks, City with Dwellings has remained steadfast in caring for our city’s homeless and vulnerably housed. Though the numbers above tell a story about the work of CwD, it’s important to remember that each of those numbers not only represents a service, but a name, an interaction, an exchange of relationship. Even amid the uncertainty of Covid-19, City with Dwellings has continued the intentional and life-saving work of building community.

What does this look like:
While each day brings new challenges, our team is dedicated to assessing the needs of our community, evaluating our strengths and ability to serve, and responding accordingly. 

While we haven't been able to use the Community First Center facility to its full potential, we have been able to serve our neighbors at a safe distance in the parking lot. We've even painted 6 foot neon squares in the lot to visually mark the appropriate distance! With the help of the full-time staff and a couple of volunteers, we've continued to offer mail service Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings from 10:30-11:30 as well as provide Moravian coffee to nearly 60 of our neighbors. Lea has continued to connect and support our community, despite many of our housing resources being limited at this time. We have also partnered with Samaritan Ministries to pick-up and provide lunch as an added level of service and to support the social distancing efforts of Samaritan. Until recently, w e were able to provide covered shelter in the parking lot with two large tents, a hand washing station, and provide restroom facilities with the addition of portable restrooms to our lot. While these resources are no longer available on our campus, we are hopeful the city will take over these essential services in the days ahead. We've also been grateful for the partnership of The Dwelling, a new community of faith for our neighbors experiencing homelessness who have have provided a mobile shower trailer to serve our neighbors . Though the Community First Center hours are limited, as a staff, we are on-call 7 days a week and working what seems like 12 hour days in order to support, advocate for, and love our neighbors experiencing homelessness.

All of that is to say: We’re still here. 
And we are committed to being here as a new normal is established in the weeks and months ahead. 
"We look forward to the day when we can begin fully operating from our new space, welcome back our beloved and faithful volunteers, and celebrate this incredible community." 

Many of you have reached out to ask how you can support the work of City with Dwellings during this time. Currently, volunteer opportunities are restricted, though we will continue to communicate as specific needs arise. We are in need of certain resources to continue to work alongside our neighbors, including cleaning supplies, goodie bags, socks, underwear, and t-shirts, as well as other personal hygiene products.  With the recommendation to wear masks in public, we've started to make simple, yet effective, masks with blue shop towels and rubber bands to provide our guests. If this is something you'd like to help with, please let us know. If you are a sewer, we most certainly would welcome donations of reusable cloth masks as well.

We look forward to the day when we can begin fully operating from our new space, welcome back our beloved and faithful volunteers, and celebrate this incredible community. Until then, we remain grateful for your partnership and dedication to our community. As always, in addition to your time and in-kind gifts, City with Dwellings is thankful for your financial support. Your gift not only directly impacts our Covid-19 response efforts, but the ways we are able to serve our neighbors in the years to come. 

Thank you for your continued love and support.
Together, we are building a Better* community.
There are no instructions for how to best support and care for homeless individuals during a pandemic. It’s a precarious, uncertain time. We all feel insecure and struggle to imagine what the other side of this pandemic will look like.
If you had no home, where would you shelter in place? There are no public spaces open, and no public bathrooms. Few computers or phones are available for those who own neither. Progress individuals have made towards housing, employment, and even health goals is on hold indefinitely. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for a homeless person to navigate life in this new
COVID-19 reality.
Since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, CwD staff and leadership have been deeply concerned about those in our community who are homeless, medically vulnerable, and have health conditions identified by the CDC which put them at high-risk for morbidity should they contract the virus.
We’ve been driven to find solutions to the question: “How do you help someone avoid exposure to the COVID-19 virus when they don’t have the option to Shelter in Place?”
City with Dwellings has been working hard with county, city, community leaders and resource providers to find the best, safest shelter options to allow our medically fragile community members to shelter in place. Should the virus hit any of our area shelters, all of which are following best practices for disinfecting and social distancing—it could spread like wildfire.
Currently, there are as many as 60 individuals experiencing homelessness who need to be taken out of the group shelter environment and given the opportunity to shelter safely in place. Plans seem to be coming together to care for that group, as well as individuals experiencing homelessness who are COVID-19 positive and recovering, or have been tested and need to isolate while awaiting results. I hope we can share information about these exciting plans next week.

- Tracy Mohr
City with Dwellings | 336.790.9766 | cwdcommunityfirst@gmail.com
www. citywithdwellings.org