Family Housing Network’s Response to COVID 19
Faith Family Hospitality began serving vulnerable families experiencing homelessness over 8 years ago. The program’s success in housing families and helping them achieve self-sufficiency is based upon generosity and a huge volunteer effort, even during this critical time. We are amazed that we have been able to continue what we started despite this pandemic, yet we would never want to put our dedicated volunteers at risk for anything unhealthy, especially something like COVID 19. We want you to know we are taking every precaution to ensure continued good health for you, our families, and our staff following every guideline established by the CDC and the Larimer County Health Department.
- Location control – We have moved the entire agency to ONE location to gain control of a single area and be able to keep it disinfected more thoroughly. Foothills Unitarian Church generously offered our agency and families safe refuge during this pandemic. It is a large unused property at this time.
- Sanitation stations are placed at the entry of both buildings so guests and volunteers can sanitize before and after they enter the space.
- Bathrooms have posted handwashing instructions and hand sanitizer is posted around the property.
- Since this site has five rooms available for guests, we will offer shelter to five families at a time.
- An industrial disinfection fogger has been leased and will be used by staff three times a week to disinfect all surfaces, especially high touch surfaces.
- Isolation – For anyone who shows symptoms or is exposed to someone with COVID 19, they will be referred to the community quarantine site on Myrtle St. for isolation. If it is determined that the whole family needs to be isolation, they will be referred to the same site for a stay determined by the Larimer County Health Department. If for some reason, we are advised to keep them at Foothills (for limited exposures), we will deliver meals to their room and a separate bathroom will be set up for their use.
- Screenings – Families are completing health screenings and temperature checks upon arrival to the day center to ensure we are complying with state regulations and local health recommendations to ensure safety of staff, volunteers and families. Daily temperatures are being logged. Volunteers will be screened upon their arrival.
- Limited volunteers – We have scaled back the number of volunteers and their role in our program to limit the number of people at risk. Unfortunately, we need to limit the interactions between guests and volunteers at this time. We understand that this is a very important part of our program for both parties. We are hoping to have two volunteers present to evening host and overnight host but it will be sufficient to have only ONE of each. Both roles will have minimal contact with families to limit the spread of COVID-19. Today we believe it is best to err of the side of caution.
- Social Distancing – Families are required to observe a six foot distance from other families at all times and encouraged to stay in their rooms as much as possible. Only one family is to use the kitchen at a time for breakfasts or grab and go lunches, and they are to disinfect the space when they leave. Families are going to the FHN Day Center and working while children are attending “remote learning sites” for school and childcare. They are stopping at the sanitation station when they return to the property in the evening.
- Dinner –Instead of several dinner preparers who would usually stay to serve, we are asking them to deliver their meal at the kitchen door, unless the meal preparer has signed up to evening host. Families will disinfect their hands when they arrive. They will not be wearing masks when they come for dinner but are expected to continue to social distance. Then ONE person serves the meal using gloves, plating the meal for each family in the kitchen, put the plates on a disinfected table outside the kitchen for families to be called to come up one table at a time to get their family’s meal. The social hall is very large. Each family has a designated table in the social hall which is spaced more than ten feet apart, keeping AMPLE space between guests. Families are required to use disinfectant solution on their tables when finished. Currently, we are using all paper products to improve hygiene and minimize work for one volunteer.
- After dinner – Families return to their rooms after dinner after visiting the sanitization station. While there are spaces such as the playground and patio that they may use (one family at a time) while keeping a 6 foot distance from one another, they usually choose to stay close to their private space. Evening hosts stay in main building until overnight host arrives so families can contact in the case of an emergency or need. Quiet time now starts at 8 pm.
- Overnight – Overnight host arrives at 8 pm. Upon arrival the overnight host can greet families from a distance if they would like to announce their arrival. In the education building, there are two rooms set aside in the upper level for overnight hosts to sleep in. Most of the families’ rooms are in the lower level, one is in the upper level. Overnight hosts bring their own bedding and pillows. Their rooms and cots are disinfected in the morning to be ready for the next overnight host. The overnight host is not responsible for setting out breakfast. The overnight host has little to no interaction with the guests and what interaction they have is at a distance. In the morning, families can access the kitchen one at a time, (signage on the door) make their own coffee and breakfast, disinfecting afterwards. The overnight volunteer should wipe down counters, refrigerator doors and door handles before locking the door at 8 am.
- Individual Family’s Disinfection – Each family is responsible for the bathroom which is designated as theirs during their stay. The shared bathroom with the shower is to be disinfected after each family’s use. The kitchen is disinfected after every family’s use. Each family has been instructed on disinfection expectations. Room checks are conducted every Friday to ensure cleanliness. Families are expected to take out their own trash daily.
- Laundry – Each Sunday morning, sheets and towels are stripped from guest rooms. At that time, all mattresses will be disinfected and new linens will be given to guests by overnight coordinator or their designated person. Soiled linens will be placed in 4 laundry bags for pick up by volunteers. If linens are from a symptomatic guest, they will not be given to volunteers for washing. We have a second set of all linens so drop off of clean linens can occur anytime before the following Saturday.
- Families are doing their own laundry as usual. Guests are advised to remove clothes worn out in the public before dinner. Many guests wear uniforms at work and will change.
How can you help?
If you are comfortable and asymptomatic, please volunteer. We are so happy we can keep our program for our families during this difficult time, but are short on volunteers. In order to keep families sheltered, we need volunteers if you are able. Here is the link to sign up genius. FFH Overnight sign up or https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090449AEAA28A6FB6-faith
If you are unable to volunteer, we ask you to donate to support this work. Our May 5, our Heroes for Homeless Families event is postponed to a virtual at this time and we need critical funds to keep serving families who have no where else to shelter. The daily work to coordinate this effort and continue to support the other 20 families who were currently using our day center takes time and effort. We need you. Donate today by visiting Help FFH families during COVID 19