How has Wayside responded to COVID-19?
Wayside Christian Mission began in 1957 with ten overnight beds for homeless men. As the needs of the homeless population grew and changed over the years, Wayside Christian Mission has constantly changed and adapted, bringing new programs, such as permanent supportive housing for the disabled homeless and a low barrier shelter, for example.
Then, with no warning, 2020 brought a new challenge, which the Mission has met head on. The COVID-19 pandemic has stretched us in many ways. Determined to keep the hundreds of men, women and children under our care as safe as possible, we strive to enforce new procedures and protocols.
Everyone in our facilities must wear masks when outside of their sleeping areas. Social distancing is practiced, resulting in additional sittings at meals to ensure everyone is fed in a safe manner.
In order to limit exposure to COVID-19, our shelter dining room is no longer open to the public. Rather, we have implemented a new mobile feeding van to ensure the unsheltered receive nutritious meals.
Perhaps one of the biggest interruptions, and one which we hope will soon end, has been the limitations on volunteer services at the Mission. Believe us when we say we have grieved the temporary loss of our volunteers, not only for our clients’ sakes, but for the overall operations of the Mission.
Several volunteers, however, have found ways to continue helping from a distance. For example, some have lovingly made face masks for our women and children. Others have continued to hold Bible studies via Zoom meetings. Still others have grown vegetables at home and dropped them off at the Mission. Many have spent their time shut down at home cleaning out their closets and donating their unneeded clothing and household goods to the Mission.
Whatever you have done for Wayside Christian Mission, whether it has been praying, donating money or goods, working from afar, or planning volunteer projects for the future, please know that we appreciate all your efforts.
For those who are contemplating helping us in the future, YES!, we need your help and we have a place for you. Come, be a part of the Mission!