• Erica Smith

Helping Hands' COVID-19 policy

Policy to Prevent Spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Effective March 15, 2020 through March 22, 2020 (unless amended before then)

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), Helping Hands has implemented the following practices to be effective immediately:

1. Our day-time lobby will be closed to anyone who is not using our shelter or the Winter Warming Center. WWC clients may sit in the lobby and use the restroom but no other services will be available. Helping Hands shelter clients will stay in the café area; other guests must remain in the lobby. All tours and meetings to be held at Helping Hands are cancelled until April 1.

2. Clients and guests who are housed should go home – we will not permit them to “hang out” at Helping Hands. Our Payee and Permanent Supported Housing clients are in regular contact with their case managers. If they need anything we will ensure items/supplies are delivered to them.

3. Helping Hands’ emergency shelter clients are strongly encouraged to stay on our grounds and avoid interactions with outside people/groups. At this time clients are allowed to leave, particularly to go to work, church, AA meetings, and other essential gatherings. We have asked our clients to avoid any social interaction that is not necessary to protect themselves and others.

4. The CCHC clinic, Hands and Feet clinic, and all other activities/groups at Helping Hands are cancelled until at least April 1.

5. All Helping Hands staff who do not provide shelter services will work from home the week of March 16. This includes our shelter case managers, payee program, office manager, and permanent supported housing staff. They will attend meetings that are off-site and essential to our agency’s operations, and are available for phone/Skype meetings.

6. All volunteers (office and meal providers) are asked to stay home unless dropping off food/supplies.

7. Any client who is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked to wear a mask and we will help the client contact the Sangamon County Public Health department. If necessary, a staff member will ensure an appointment is made with a medical provider and transportation is available. If the client refuses to wear a mask or see a medical provider, he will be asked to leave our shelter immediately and may not return unless he has a note from a medical provider that he does not have an infectious condition.


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