We’re All In This Together

City Mission mothers and their children have an impromptu celebration

City Mission Residents Bond Together and Honker Down During Coronavirus

These are fearful times, and a homeless shelter is probably the last place you’d choose to hunker down at a time like this.  But the residents at City Mission are responding to this crisis with remarkable patience, compassion, and togetherness.

“They are adapting to this challenging situation and doing so with a smile,” explained Leah Dietrich, City Mission’s Director of Residential Programs.  “That is such a blessing.  I’m proud of them for their response and impressed with all that they are accomplishing during this trying time.  It is inspirational to me.”

female resident group photo

Social distancing is very difficult for our residents, and staying at home for them means sleeping in a bunk bed in a crowded room and eating dinner in a cafeteria.  But we are doing everything possible to keep them healthy, and our Medical Clinic is closely monitoring them.  We also have separate quarantine areas set up if needed, but so far, we have had no cases on our campus.  And fortunately, thanks to gracious members of the community, we have been able to procure enough masks for everyone.  

city mission staff members with masks on

Additionally, we have expanded our programming and activities to make this quarantine a more enjoyable and comfortable experience for the residents.  “We are doing our best to keep them busy and focused on what they can do to be successful in the future.  It’s important for everyone to keep looking forward,” said Dietrich.  The Mission has been offering more on-site recovery programs, developing holistic wellness initiatives through yoga classes and relaxation activities, finding creative ways to continue therapy and counseling sessions, and focusing on job readiness.

The Career Training and Education Center at the Mission has been very busy this past month.  “We have more residents than ever completing food handler certificates and customer service certifications,” Dietrich noted.  “And we’re planning a resume workshop for the end of the month to help residents be ready for their next steps.”

These are fearful times, and a homeless shelter is probably the last place you’d choose to hunker down at a time like this.  But the residents at City Mission are responding to this crisis with remarkable patience, compassion, and togetherness.

City Mission’s Career Training and Education Center Coordinator, Brianna Kadlecik, has stepped in as a substitute tutor for the GED preparation course offered to the residents, and she has been able to see how the residents are truly coming together during this quarantine.  “I get to see the GED students help each other out and be each other’s cheerleaders when they are having a particularly difficult time with their studies,” she explained.

mike shows off his new mask

City Mission residents are encouraging each other all over campus in amazing ways.  One of the residents is actually sewing masks to keep everyone safe, and he is making smaller sizes for children with customized colors or characters so they won’t be afraid to wear them.  Another resident has volunteered to run all the technology for the daily movie nights and the sound system for worship sessions in the chapel.

The residents are even sharing their skills.  One resident is teaching a class on making paracord bracelets.  Another resident initiated a tie-dye event, where everyone made their own creative t-shirts.  20 residents attended.

staff and residents gather for photo op with masks

Recently, one of the Career Center’s classrooms was converted into a learning center for the kids staying in our Women with Children program, so the moms and children can work on schoolwork together.

mother and daughter wears masks at preschool

“The residents were always so close and there for each other, but it has been awesome to see them cling together and lift each other up in these times,” said Manager of the Women and Children Program, Amber Miller.  “They go for walks around the campus, pray, and do step work together daily.  They have really grown stronger and are carrying each other through this time.”

The Easter celebration was also exciting.  “Our residents were blessed beyond belief,” Dietrich said.  “Sarris Chocolates, the Toffee House, Macy’s, and so many more came together to ensure that our residents had a sweet Easter.”  All of the children received Easter baskets donated by local churches and individuals.  “They thought it was the best Easter ever,” Dietrich added.

“I have been amazed by the amount of donations we have received for our residents,” said Kadlecik.  “It is encouraging for the residents to see how much the community cares about them.”

Our residents are all in this together, and they are rising to the occasion and lifting each other up.  And all of us, we’re in this together too, and we have been amazed by all the support we’ve received from the community during this crisis.  We can’t thank you enough!

April 24, 2020
Susan Gartland - Social Media Manager
Sue Gartland
Social Media Manager
Sue has a vast career in gospel rescue missions adding great value to the City Mission team. Sue has been in many roles in the mission and is always filling in where she is needed - which is A LOT!

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