The Father McKenna Center Modifies its Programs and Services to Protect the Health and Safety of Day Program Guests, Food Pantry Patrons, Volunteers and Staff Members
Our response is principally guided by our commitment to our mission of service to Fr. Horace McKenna’s “flock,” and our focus is always on the safety and dignity of the people we serve. We have been following the guidelines established by the DC Department of Human Services.
The Board of Directors of The Father McKenna Center has authorized us to take the steps outlined below. In these challenging times with fast-evolving information and guidelines, we are making the following changes to our programs:
1. The Day Program will be closed until April 1st. We will not be receiving volunteers until that time. The District of Columbia has closed its day shelters and the night shelters are going to remain open during the day, with three meals served to shelter residents. The city is also preparing stand-up meal stations for people who do not wish to engage with the shelter system. These measures are all designed to improve social distancing and reduce social contacts.
2. The Hypothermia Program will continue, as a 24-hour service for the men currently taking part. Unfortunately, in an abundance of caution and care for the Gonzaga families, we are suspending the meals partnership with the Gonzaga Mothers’ Club and will be cooking all meals on-site.
3. We will continue to serve our Food Pantry clients, with a modified approach to ensure we balance nutrition, safety, and dignity. We will also be partnering with the Capital Area Food Bank as a community hub distribution point. We will share more about this as we proceed.
4. Immersion programs have been suspended, in accordance with their Universities’ guidelines.
How can you help us during this time?
First and foremost, we need your prayers
- for calm and courage in uncertainty;
- for our clients who already have stress and strain in their lives; and
- for kindness and compassion at a time when community ties are challenged.
You can also pray with us by following this link to Prayer for a Pandemic by Cameron Bellm
Please continue your support of our mission. We know that the most effective support you can offer is a financial contribution You can donate here.
Please stay in touch by:
- Following us on social media;
- share this newsletter; and,
- share our mission with your friends.
We know there will be tremendous rebuilding necessary after the social and economic disruption of COVID-19. We will not be able to do that without you – thank you for your support and we hope to see you soon.