How We Are Handling COVID-19 at BEDS Shelter
Dear BEDS Friend:
 
The health and safety of volunteers, clients, and employees is always a top priority for BEDS Plus Care, and never more so than now. Leadership is closely monitoring the evolving status of the coronavirus COVID-19 and its potential impact on the Shelter operations that serve the most vulnerable members of our communities. 
 
We are following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control , Illinois Department of Public Health , and Housing and Urban Development for organizations serving the homeless. We trust their expertise and recommendations to inform our decisions. With added preparedness measures in place, we presently are operating as usual BUT we are moving toward changes to a consolidated shelter, assessing information daily with the health and safety of volunteers in mind. 
 
We are monitoring our clients for respiratory symptoms and will begin routinely taking temperatures via digital ear thermometer on Saturday, March 14. Anyone with symptoms or a fever will be transported for medical care. Temporary housing options, including motel vouchers, for elderly and families, are in place.  The regular shelter season will end early, on Friday, March 20 th . A single, consolidated site will be available for all South and West clients. 
 
At this time, it is recommended that individuals age 60+ and the immune-suppressed avoid group events. We are asking volunteers in these categories to stop their shelter shifts. We respect all individual and family decisions to cancel a shelter shift or opt not to return until next season. Please let us know if you will not be working. The consolidated schedule makes it possible to continue providing limited shelter with fewer volunteers. 
 
We also want to thank the volunteers who feel they can continue to work with us during this crisis. 
 
Precautionary measures will continue to be put in place as necessary to limit potential exposure and risk. Common sense health precautions are always recommended. Remember to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, sanitize belongings and surfaces, avoid touching your face. 
 
We recommend following CDC advisories for vulnerable populations:
 
  • Bleach should be available at every site, dilute and wipe down surfaces regularly.
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer should also be available at every site.
  • Encourage regular hand washing.
  • Place sleeping pads 3 feet apart.
  • Monitor your health for your own well-being and do not attend if you are not feeling well yourself.
 
Information about the BEDS Plus response to COVID-19 is on our website and will be updated as new information is available. We also will share this information through Facebook and Twitter. 
 
We wish to thank everyone for their kind offers of help and donations. Please contact us at info@beds-plus.org for information regarding our most pressing needs.
 
Since 1988, the BEDS Plus community has pulled together to address the crises that have had the worst impact on our vulnerable neighbors. Once again, we could not help those who are homeless without your caring support.  Thank you.