How to help those experiencing homelessness during this challenging time is a question that has weighed heavily on our hearts. We have landed on an alternative that we are excited about.
This new program is called Elk Grove HART’s WINSIP (Winter Shelter in Place). It will start on October 5, 2020 and run through March of 2021. Our plan is to deliver meals and necessities to the homeless at their locations on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. In addition to food we will be distributing many other items to help them get through the winter. Christy Cares will continue to offer meals at United Methodist Church on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
We are happy to partner with the City of Elk Grove and accept financial support through the Cares Act. The Elk Grove Presbyterian Church has generously offered their church building where we will assemble the meals. We have been able to recruit a small band of experienced volunteers to help us prepare and distribute these meals and necessities.
We considered several factors that led us to this new program. In addition to addressing the safety needs of our volunteers, we also considered the scope of our efforts. Elk Grove HART’s WINSIP will serve approximately 65 of our homeless as opposed to the maximum of 20 served at our winter shelter. This model will also give us the opportunity to do wellness checks to further meet the needs of the homeless. We will be able to keep them fed and hydrated while keeping them in place and safe from COVID-19.
Our navigator will follow up on any concerns and provide opportunities to help them find housing. Many of our homeless have income from either their retirement or disability and are eligible for housing, but remain unconnected to other supportive resources. The navigator can also evaluate potential clients for our Grace and Meadow houses.
At this time, we feel the Elk Grove HART’s Winter Shelter in Place program is the best possible way we can prevent and respond to COVID-19. As the program unfolds, we look forward to keeping you updated on all the services being provided to those experiencing homelessness in Elk Grove.