Plan, Prepare, Prevent
March 20, 2020
The nation and world is focused on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic—it’s top of mind for everyone. And I’m glad our community is taking it seriously, because this virus affects all of us. It doesn’t care which political party you belong to or your religious beliefs.
The virus affects people from all backgrounds, and we’re seeing the effects in every part of our community. Churches are shut down, schools are closed, sports seasons are cancelled. No one knows what will happen next, or when things will get back to normal.
I care about you and your situation, and I pray you’re doing okay. Life would be horrible if you had to live it alone and staying at home is hard. Life is about the people around you—friends, family and a community going through things together.
And remember: God is also with us during this pandemic, and wants us to turn to Him in these times of trouble. Our staff is praying, spending time in Bible study, trusting in God, and rigorously following the advice from health officials as we take action to limit the impact on people in the community.
The Mission is classified as part of the critical infrastructure, and as a result will stay open and helping people in need during the state-wide shelter in place order.
We’ve installed four portable hand-washing stations outside the main entrances of our buildings to make it easier for more staff and guests to follow hygiene recommendations from health officials.
To increase sanitation in our dorms, offices, classrooms and elsewhere inside our buildings, we undertook the monumental task of finding and purchasing extra hand sanitizer for guests and staff.
Our volunteers change lives here every day by teaching classes, sorting donations, mentoring, and preparing meals, but their health and safety is a priority. So we’ve asked any volunteers over the age of 65, those with compromised immune systems, or if they’re feeling sick to stay home for the time being.
So we can adhere to “social distancing” guidelines from health professionals, we’ve postponed many of our classes and programs not directly related to food, shelter, and hygiene.
But our guests have nowhere else to go for meals and a safe place to sleep. Nor do they have somewhere outside the Mission they can shelter in place.
As the only homeless shelter in Shasta County, our focus today and tomorrow will be the same as it has been since Pastor Blue started the Good News Rescue Mission: providing food and shelter to those most vulnerable in our community.
I know that God is with us and will protect us. And you, too.
What you can do
I’ve been asked by people in the community “How can I help the Mission?” It really shows the spirit of Shasta County that even during these uncertain times many people are looking for ways to help others. I’m not surprised, but it’s still amazing to see in action.
Here are three ways you can help today:
1. Pray! God is in control of everything in this world, and He tells us that He will provide for us. If we can pray for you, don’t hesitate to let me know. Please keep the men, women and children we serve, and the staff that work with them every day in your prayers as we navigate these difficult times.
2. Giving financially will help us continue our vital ministry. Whatever you can give at this time would make an impact on the lives of homeless and hungry men and women in Shasta County. You can donate online by clicking here or going to: gnrm.org/donate
3. Donating food like canned and frozen vegetables, large packages of macaroni noodles and chicken or beef broth go a long way to helping provide needed meals for our guests every day.
Because events surrounding COVID-19 are changing at a rapid pace, we’ve created this web page to keep you updated on the latest preparations and planning at the Mission.
In Isaiah 41:10, God promises: “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you with my victorious right hand.” I’m thankful for His continued faithfulness, and for you.
May God bless you during these difficult times.
In His Service,
Jonathan D. Anderson
March 16 – Volunteer Update
As you are probably all aware Governor Newsom has been rolling out guidelines and restrictions to our state. One of those suggestions is for anyone 65 years old or older to begin a self-quarantine.
The Mission has and is taking every precaution to limit the spread of the corona virus in the event of an outbreak in Shasta County. Part of the precaution includes limiting non-essential Guest Services, Academic Center, and New Life Recovery programs for the next couple weeks. This includes but is not limited to programs such as job readiness and money savings, and limiting how many people we have in one building at one time so we can adhere to the “social distancing” guidelines.
Sadly, our guests have no-where else to go for food and shelter. They have no place to self-quarantine and limited access to proper sanitization. Our primary focus for the next few weeks will be on basics services, services that allow us to meet the essential needs of our guests such as healthy meals, emergency shelter, and proper sanitization.
If you are over the age of 65 we strongly encourage you to consider the Governors recommendation until things settle down. Please inform us what you will do, so we can plan accordingly. If you plan to keep coming in, please let us know that as well.
You can contact the staff person you normally coordinate with or Robyn Snow, our volunteer coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-242-5920.
Blessings to you all!
March 13, 2020
Right now, many people in the country are alarmed. We are seeing almost exclusive coverage of the Coronavirus on all media outlets. This is a good time for a reminder that the media and social media platforms want to keep you tuned in, watching, and scrolling. The more sensational the headlines, the more views they receive.
This is not a time for fear and panic. This is a time to plan, prepare, and be ready to act with appropriate measures based on facts.
Our leadership team at the Mission, utilizing the latest information from public health officials, has prepared and is implementing a prevention and response plan. As this is a rapidly changing situation, we are continually monitoring the possibility of COVID-19 in our community and are keeping open communications with local health officials. Our goal is to prevent any possible occurrence of the disease and maintain our emergency services for those without any other options.
We are committed to the safety and health of our homeless guests, recovery program students, staff, volunteers, and partners. As such, we are continuing to educate staff, guests, and volunteers on best practices according to health officials and we encourage everyone to do the same, including:
- Proper Hand Washing
- Covering Your Cough
- Social Distancing
- Liberal Use Of Hand Sanitizer
As the only homeless shelter in Shasta County we already have in place rigorous cleaning and disinfecting protocols. These protocols are in place on a regular basis due to other transmittable diseases such as the Flu, Common Cold, and TB. Inline with public health guidelines we have increased the amount of cleaning and disinfecting, are installing extra hand sanitizer stations, are reminding guests during each meal to practice proper sanitization, and have masks available if needed.
We are taking advanced precautionary measures to reduce the chances of an occurrence at the Mission, but we still continue to love and care for our homeless neighbors. Our shelter remains open for meals and emergency shelter.
Please pray for our team and for the individuals that we serve.
Shasta County Health & Human Services has further resources and the latest information on their COVID-19 Resource Page.