COLORADO SPRINGS — The community is on edge as coronavirus concerns spread, But some local organizations simply cannot shut down, such as the Springs Rescue Mission.
“We are serving meals, we are providing showers, we are providing laundry services, we are providing shelter to those who are in need, and we are providing programming as we’re able to during this time,” said Travis Williams, chief development officer for the Springs Rescue Mission.
Currently, the nonprofit serves 400 people on their campus.
And, in light of coronavirus concerns, it has ramped up efforts to keep its campus clean and safe.
There are sanitizing stations at every door/entrance, they’re cleaning the campus three times a day, and they’re encouraging non-essential staff to stay home.
“They’ve been suffering through trauma, mental illness, and addiction, and they’re vulnerable. They’re a vulnerable population and their health is at risk. And because they don’t have a house, they don’t get the luxury of being able to be spaced apart. Spatial distance is not often unless they want to continue to be isolated and alone,” Williams said.
Robert Case stays at Springs Rescue Mission and helps with cleaning efforts with the work engagement crew.
“Personally, I’m trying to get the rest of my clients here to practice, ‘wash your hands,’ ‘let’s keep our distance right now,’ ‘let’s not share cigarettes,’ ‘don’t pick the butts up off the ground.’ We have to practice these things and practice good behaviors. It’s a slow process, but these guys, they’re getting it together,” Case said.
As for social distancing..
“Fortunately, the beds have had a decent amount of space and we are encouraging folks to sleep head to foot, foot to head to create even more space. So, we’re doing everything we can with the limited amount of space that we have to create as much space as possible,” Williams said.
“Panic is what’s going to destroy us, take us all apart. So, if we can stay calm, stay vigilant, smart, we can be on top of this and be one of the few people or groups of people that don’t get torn apart by this virus,” Case said.
Case says the work engagement program helps him stay on a schedule to rebuild his life.
“Even though we don’t have any more volunteers, food is still being taken care of, everybody is doing their best to keep their hands clean, washed. It’s been a group effort and I’m really proud of what we’re doing here and how well this shelter is taking care of us,” Case added.