May 20, 2020
Dear Friends of Waterfront:
As portions of our economy begin to open through a phased approach, Waterfront Rescue Mission has reopened with adjustments as well. All 8 of our Thrift Stores and both of our Mission sites are open!
Please know our highest priority continues to be safety of our staff, clients, and volunteers. We are implementing a safe, careful, and compassionate approach to resuming services. Be assured that we will continue to have a measured and informed approach to ramping up activity. This approach will give us the best chance of serving as we prepare for a sustainable future.
These are four key measures we have put in place to ensure safety and economic viability:
Clients undergo health screening before entering the Mission, and client check-in desks now have see-through shields, with staff wearing masks and cleaning based on CDC recommendations.
See-through shields have been placed at store check-out stations, and fitting rooms are temporarily closed, with staff wearing masks and cleaning based on CDC recommendations.
We are serving with limited staffing, which means volunteerism will be key… and will resume June 1.
In an effort to be better stewards of time and money, Waterfront is converting from paper receipts to e-mail receipts when possible. Receipts for monetary donations are delayed, but please know how grateful we are for your continued support. It is vital to our ability to serve each day.
Part of our measured approach is capacity limits in both Mobile and Pensacola Mission locations for overnight shelter, allowing for safe distancing and other CDC-recommended protocols. We recently learned that one of our Pensacola guests, who stayed with us a few nights earlier this month, tested positive for COVID-19. We worked closely with health care officials to test those who were exposed, and we began accepting new guests today, with the all clear from the Health Department. Our Mobile campus resumed services this week after a governor-mandated closure.
Intake for the Addiction Recovery Program remains suspended in both locations as we focus on Rescue services, which involves more than emergency shelter; our short-term programs help Veterans, the chronically homeless, and the working homeless. Staff and volunteers help these men secure employment, gain job-readiness skills, obtain benefits, and procure housing.
We plan to resume volunteer engagement at Mission sites June 1. Visit waterfrontmission.org/volunteer or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in volunteering at the Pensacola or Mobile Mission. To volunteer at one of our Thrift Stores, call the store directly. Click HERE for contact info.
Because of our limited labor force at this time, we have suspended item donations at our store locations until June 1. This seems counterintuitive, considering how much we count on your donations of gently-used items. I apologize for any inconvenience and ask that you bear with us as we shore up our store staff. Certainly, your monetary donations, whether large or small, continue to allow us to serve the homeless in both Mobile and Pensacola.
The best way to stay updated on our Mission and Store activity is to follow us on Facebook: Mission & Thrift.
Nothing is more rewarding for us than to serve those with life-dominating issues; after all, serving the homeless is what we are called to do. It is our mission. If we can be of service to you during this challenging time, please e-mail us at email@example.com or message us on Facebook.
Partnering with you in service,
Devin K. Simmons
P.S. Please know how very much I appreciate your ongoing support of Waterfront and our community as we work our way into our “new normal” – together. Waterfront continues to meet needs because of you. I implore you to continue praying for our staff and guests, that they remain healthy