We are continually updating this page to provide updates regarding our response to COVID-19 and changes to our programs and services.
Latest Update: March 30, 2020
Here is a summary of just some of the actions we have taken to date:
March 30, 2020
- Outreach is providing meals to local “camps” from Salvation Army Monday – Friday and providing flyers to educate the homeless community about COVID-19 and the importance of Social Distancing.
- Emergency Shelter setup new dining hall procedures, stations, and office arrangements to better create Social Distancing.
March 25, 2020
- Emergency Shelter Staff and Case Management instituted “Quiet Time” after lunch hours to reduce tension and provide respite for participants.
- Willows Substance Use Treatment team added “Telehealth Sessions” for new and current clients via phone and Zoom and is offering virtual groups.
March 20, 2020
- We are in constant communication with state and local officials, health providers, and other partners in the homeless services community to evolve our plan for best practices and solutions for our participants.
- At the New Horizons shelter, we are following guidance from the CDC and other homeless services on how to best support the well-being of our participants. Healthcare for the Homeless is also co-located on-site to provide screening and monitoring procedures.
- The Day Resource Program at the New Horizon shelter is open and we are staggering entrance on the hour from 8 am – 4 pm to reduce traffic into the building.
- Dinner service at the New Horizons shelter has been temporarily limited to nighttime shelter participants only. For others, we are providing non-perishable boxes through our food pantry. Many people have been understanding and our participants have expressed appreciation for the actions to support their safety and well-being.
- Food pickups at the pantry will continue to be by appointment ONLY for Manchester residents who are income-eligible. The boxes we are handing out consist of non-perishable items. If you know someone in need of access to food, please have them call us at 603-641-9441 ext. 221 to schedule an appointment.
- The OutFITters Thrift store is still temporarily closed and is not accepting store-related donations at this time. We are kindly asking that you do not drop off any donations during?the?closure. We will post on our social media channels when we are back up and running!
- We are continuing to look into any and all possible solutions for additional locations in order to reduce numbers at the shelter, separate people with underlying health conditions who are most vulnerable, and find isolation/quarantine locations should a participant test positive in the future. All solutions are on the table at this point.
March 16, 2020
- Created a COVID-19 Taskforce which is meeting regularly and continually monitoring the latest news and updates on the pandemic.
- Developed a dynamic Response Plan, which includes recommendations and best practices from various local and federal sources, which we are continually updating as new information becomes available.
- Staying in regular communication with health officials and city and state leaders regarding response procedures should a case be detected among a participant.
- Educating participants and staff on preventive measures they can take to maintain a healthy environment for all.
- Implemented best practices to prevent the spread of the virus, including increasing cleaning protocols and access to cleaning supplies across the agency.
- Developed a staffing plan which will ensure that we are still able to provide our essential services.
- Encouraged staff who can work from home to do so, restricting travel and attendance of gatherings, and moving in-person meetings to virtual settings where feasible.
- Paused our agency-wide volunteer programs for the next 3 weeks.
- Temporarily closed our Thrift store and suspended clothing and home goods donations.
- Temporarily closed the food pantry for Monday, March 16 & Tuesday, March 17 in order to allow time for staff to plan for safe and effective food distribution taking into account all of the guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19.