As we continue to monitor COVID-19 and take precautions in our own lives, we want to share what we’re doing at Housing Works to care for the health of those in our community.
Our clinics remain open. We are screening all clients who come through our doors, and we have a detailed protocol for testing and treating clients who are exhibiting symptoms. As a Federally Qualified Health Center serving low-income individuals including those experiencing homelessness, we are part of a network of 12,000 community health centers that serve as frontline responders for crises like this. Thirty years ago, our community was the first affected by HIV/AIDS and we know that our community will again be disproportionately affected. Because of this, we believe it is imperative that we continue to serve our community at this critical moment.
We are running an emergency homeless shelter for folks with COVID-19. You can read more about these efforts in the New York Post.
We are scaling back our brick and mortar retail spaces while taking additional measures to ensure the health and wellbeing of our clients and staff. Until further notice, we are closing the Thrift Shops. The online Shop remains up and running, but shipping will be delayed until staff are safely able to return and process. Auction items may not ship until Shops re-open, and items marked for pickup will be held until Shops re-open. Our Bookstore Cafe & Bar is also closed until further notice. We will not be accepting donations at the Thrift Shops nor Bookstore at this time; we hope to announce an alternative donation drop-off strategy shortly.
Volunteers are strongly encouraged to stay home. We appreciate the care you offer our community through the sharing of your time, passion, and talent, and now it is time for you to prioritize care for yourselves. Additionally, we are unable to host any large volunteer groups for the time being.
Housing Works staff are strongly encouraged to stay home if they are feeling unwell, and staff have been afforded additional paid time off. Employees on our Aetna health plan have access to free telehealth services and we’re waiving co-pays on COVID-19 screening and testing. At our worksites, we are screening all who come through our doors, and we have increased access to disinfectants and hand sanitizers.We are making accommodations for staff with underlying health conditions and accelerating our use of technology to deliver our services remotely (where possible), and we are rolling out work-from-home strategies for administrative staff.
Thank you for your continued support during this uncertain time.Together, we will endure this crisis and remain true to our values of justice and health equity for all.
We wish you and your loved ones health and safety.