Local shelters are seeing an increase in the number of people they are serving due to the coronavirus as they assist the vulnerable.
Lima Rescue Mission is trying to limit any additional men staying at their facility, according to Chuck Ferguson, Rescue Mission executive director.
“We are seeing an increase in calls of people wanting to find a place to stay. Under the current situation with coronavirus, this is one of the high risk areas it could be contracted,” Ferguson said.
There are currently 22 men staying at the shelter on a monthly basis, and the overnight dorm sleeps 19 men.
“We are trying to keep our numbers low because it’s close quarters and there are common restrooms and shower areas,” Ferguson said.
The shelter serves breakfast and dinner and offers chapel services, financial and Bible classes and has a weight room.
At Lima’s Our Daily Bread, Randy Kimpel, soup kitchen director, said he wants to make sure the community is aware that the kitchen is available for a free meal.
Coffee and doughnuts are served at 9 a.m. and lunch is from 10:30 a.m. to noon weekdays at the center, 125 S. Central Ave. Lima. Volunteers are providing free bread to visitors.
“For some people this is the only meal they get each day and without us they wouldn’t get anything,” Kimpel said. He said the center provides a place for people to get warm in addition to a warm meal.
Funding for food comes from the public, churches and individuals and private grants.
“We are a Christian organization and put God first, and God is in control,” Kimpel said.
Crossroads Crisis Center in Lima, a shelter for men and women victims of domestic violence and their children, is at full capacity, according to Christel Keller, executive director.
“We do know that different stressors can escalate domestic violence. There now are children at home and if a person is already in an abusive relationship, it can definitely escalate during these times,” Keller said.
The confidential shelter provides food, clothing, hygiene and cleaning products and a place to sleep and shower. There also is a case management program with court advocates who can help victims with the legal process. Job assistance is available.
A typical stay for a resident is 45 days. Crossroads is a temporary shelter, but sometimes people need six to eight months depending on their situation.
Crossroads is in need of toilet paper and hand sanitizer. For details on how to donate, call 419-228-4357.
The Allen County Board of Developmental Disabilities has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak with the guidance of Allen County Public Health, Allen County EMA, Ohio Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control, and State of Ohio daily briefings, according to Theresa Schnipke, Board of DD superintendent.
“In this critical time, we are working collaboratively, operating differently and being proactive to limit the spread of COVID-19, while meeting the needs of those we serve,” Schnipke said. “During the state of emergency, we fully realize there are many day-to-day issues that will require flexibility from normal operations.”
The board is operating while being closed to the public. Special accommodations for some vital provider services, such as fingerprinting, can be made. This must be by appointment, and the person cannot be ill when asking for this service. All social, recreational, volunteer and self-advocacy activities of the board are suspended for now, all DD month activities have been canceled and PLAYTIME has been suspended until further notice.
Marimor School closed at the end of the day on March 16. It will remain closed until at least April 6. Instructors are working remotely to communicate with families. The organization is delivering lunches to students each day.
The board is implementing an aggressive technology plan for remote work for the majority of employees.
Home visits, unless for critical and essential needs, and face-to-face meetings are temporarily suspended.
Karen McCullough, one of the organization’s long-term staff members, is the point person to receive calls and requests from the provider community. She can be reached at at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.