Monday, April 6, 2020
Dear members of the Abby’s House community,
Amid the growing number of COVID-19 cases, Abby’s House remains committed to serving homeless and low-income women and children under these extraordinary circumstances and to meeting their expanded needs. We are fully operational and have exercised flexibility and creativity to identify ways to meet needs while maintaining social distancing protocol. Our highest priority is for all residents, shelter guests, staff and volunteers to be safe and remain free from contracting COVID-19.
While many of us are learning to adjust to an ever-changing set of challenges, this need to adapt quickly is not new for our residents and guests. Encountering and navigating crises – the loss of a job, eviction, fleeing from domestic violence – can be the reality for many of the women we serve.
Many of our residents and guests are among the most vulnerable to the virus, either because of their age or because they have a pre-existing health condition. Many of them have lost their jobs due to businesses shutting down and are worried about what the future holds – if they’ll be able to pay their rent, afford groceries, or access services they need like medical appointments and mental health counseling.
For nearly 44 years, Abby’s House has worked to support women and children in need, providing them with shelter, affordable housing, and advocacy services that help them along their journeys of healing and recovery.
Because of you, homeless and low-income women, with and without children have a place to safely live through this crisis. Through your continued support, we are able to provide:
- Safe housing and safe short-term shelter, for women currently experiencing homelessness
- Continued 1:1 support through remote advocacy services. Our Advocates are checking in with both residents and shelter guests all throughout the week to offer support and relevant resources as well as continuing to guide them through their Empowerment Plans
- Increased food donations through an enhanced partnership with St. Paul’s Food Pantry
- Technology for remote telehealth sessions or to file for unemployment
- Funds for rent and other important needs that are emerging due to a loss of income
The women of Abby’s House are so appreciative of you keeping them in your thoughts and continuing to help provide for them during this challenging time. We will continue to update you and share our plans as the situation progresses. If you are looking for ways to help, Abby’s House is currently in need of the following:
- Donations to cover unexpected costs and to help make up for the loss in income from our Thrift Shop, which has been closed since 3/16 and will remain closed at least through April: abbyshouse.org/donate
- Disinfecting aerosol spray, such as Lysol
- Disinfecting surface spray or wipes
- Dish and hand soap refills or pump bottles
- Paper towels
Please visit our website for regular updates of needed items: abbyshouse.org/get-involved/donate-needed-items/. Using social distancing protocol, items can be dropped off contact-free in reception at 52 High Street, Worcester. We understand that these items may be hard to find in stores. If you have trouble locating these products and still want to help, you can donate gift cards or make a monetary donation, which will provide us with the flexibility of purchasing items that we are in greatest need of: abbyshouse.org/donate.
We thank each of you for your continued support and compassion.
Please stay healthy and safe,