COVID-19 Update for Partners and Supporters

Update as of May 1, 2020

Joseph’s Home continues to operate under CDC, HUD and Ohio Department of Health guidelines for shelters/residential facilities. In addition to the items described in our first message below, we have also instituted the following:

  • All persons in the building and on the grounds must wear masks except when alone in a private office or room. We are grateful that our staff and residents quickly adapted to this change.
  • We secured technology making telehealth appointments much easier for us to implement and facilitate for our residents and alumni. We still need to fully build out this capacity.
  • Thanks to assistance from the Greater Cleveland Rapid Response Fund, we have been able to cover some of our critical staffing and supply costs as well as the costs of technology.
  • We instituted COVID-19 screening practices for all referrals to Joseph’s Home, and are requiring an in-person screen by our Medical Director if someone is high-risk or if the person self-reports symptoms when screened by our staff.
  • We piloted our isolation/quarantine practices to ensure they are sound and we are prepared to serve a symptomatic resident. We also have a written policy and procedure for temporary isolation and discharge to Cuyahoga County’s COVID-positive hotel setting, if necessary.

Our highest priority is to prevent the virus and keep our residents and staff safe from exposure as much as possible. Having said this, it is clear that congregate and partially-congregate settings (like Joseph’s Home) are particularly vulnerable to pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic spread of this disease. We urge Cuyahoga County and the State of Ohio to consider comprehensive ongoing testing of staff and residents of shelters to help slow the spread and reduce the serious risk to staff and residents alike.

If you or someone you know needs assistance during this troubling time, the following resources may be able to help:

Urgent Needs

We appreciate those who have reached out wanting to lend a hand during this time! Your support is needed to keep our residents, alumni, and staff safe and healthy. We are currently in need of:

  • Operating funds to cover the additional costs of paying overtime hours and for temporary workers, as a result of a reduced workforce, and paying increased supply costs for additional disinfecting and medical supply products
  • Hand Sanitizer (must contain alcohol)
  • Disinfectant Wipes (Clorox Disinfecting Wipes or comparable brand/maker containing 60% alcohol)
  • Face Masks (medical grade preferred) for residents and staff

If you would like to donate items such as hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, please contact Development Director Madeline Wallace at [email protected].

Update as of March 30, 2020

Joseph’s Home is a provider of recuperative care and temporary shelter for medically-fragile men experiencing homelessness.  As such, our organization is exempted from the Governor’s “stay at home” order.  We remain open, and we continue to accept referrals, following procedures that include screening for symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing.  We know that our job is to help those who have no home find respite and safety here, as they regain their health and return to housing stability.

We are implementing numerous precautions to minimize and mitigate risk for our residents and staff, informed by guidance from the CDC, HUD and the State of Ohio.

  • We have temporarily suspended volunteer activities and visitors to the building.
  • Residents may only exit the building for essential trips.
  • All persons are screened for symptoms on a daily basis.
  • We have temporarily suspended group gatherings and meetings.
  • We are practicing physical distancing, cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces and mandating frequent hand-washing and sanitizing.
  • We have personal protective equipment (PPE) on hand, in case of illness.
  • Staff who feel ill will be asked to stay home and contact their physician. We are offering flexible hours, PTO and work-from-home options, as feasible.
  • We are fortunate to have private rooms and can use them, if needed, to further isolate someone presenting symptoms.

Ongoing Support

The need for medical respite is not diminished during this time; in fact, as hospitals face greater demand for beds, medical respite may be a logical choice for discharging those no longer requiring hospital care. Our alumni will also need additional support as they face increased risk and insecurity. We remain at the ready, along with many other amazing organizations that continue to operate in the face of real challenges, to stand with those in need and serve our community.

We understand that these are uncertain and concerning times for you. Please know that we see you as part of our team—we are in this together. Now more than ever, we need your continued prayers and support to keep residents healthy and alumni stable. We humbly ask you to give what you can during this difficult time to help. Any amount you can give will ensure that Joseph’s Home continues to provide the vital services our men need to stabilize their health and attain permanent housing.