With deep pain and much worry, Trinity Center now follows the Mayor’s order to “shelter-in-place.” Today, March 24th, we served the last breakfast until at least April 13th. With breakfast this morning, served outside (yes, distance kept,) each of our brothers and sisters also received a care package with soap, shampoo, new socks and other goodies, thanks to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.
In this new emergency situation, we feel that the 80 to 100 breakfasts that we have been serving outside our doors is a tiny drop in the city’s mandate to secure the safety of our neighbors at this time. Also, in the last 10 days, we have seen fewer staff and fewer volunteers available to continue our services as usual.
The city will soon announce its plan regard to our beloveds. Today it looks like they will open motel rooms for homeless people who are symptomatic, as well as designating a place where all will be fed, have access to toilets, running water and essentials — perhaps at the Palmer Convention Center. We are pushing hard for our city to implement this now rather than later.
We have been using the last few days without neighbors in the center to paint the walls, change the women’s closet from winter to summer clothing, deep-cleaning the center and kitchen and catching up on administrative work.
At least one of us will still be here, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., to hand out mail to the more than 1,000 neighbors who depend on us for this vital service.
One day, we pray sooner rather than later, this will be over and all of us will gather again with joy, fully ready to serve our neighbors. Our understanding of the predicaments of people without a place to call home will grow deeper, as will our grasp of the inter-dependence of all beings. Our love? That will not cease but rather spread wider.
Irit Umani and Trinity Center Staff