Dorothy Day House Supporters --
The world has changed dramatically in the last two weeks, and that has been the case at Dorothy Day House. Every day has brought new challenges. Just two weeks ago, our kitchen and shelter were in full operation, with volunteers and guests taking precautions against coronavirus.
On Thursday March 12, we closed both kitchen and shelter to have them deep cleaned for precautionary reasons. We did not reopen the shelter due
to safety concerns for guests and volunteers (the tight space does not permit proper social distancing) and staffing issues. We initially reopened the kitchen for hot meals on a takeout basis, but switched to grab and go bags. We continue to receive many donations, so the bags are stuffed with sandwiches, fruit, snacks, other desserts and drinks.
Our overflow shelter and evening program remained open through the night of Monday March 23.
The City of Danbury has responded to the crisis by opening the War Memorial building in Rogers Park for all homeless people not showing coronavirus symptoms. Last night (3/24) was the first night the War Memorial was in operation. We supplied pillows, pillowcases, sheets, blankets, towels, paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, plastic cutlery, paper plates, cups and other food serving supplies. The War Memorial will be open 24/7 including meals. Tonight we supplied grab and go bags for their evening meal. This is a temporary measure. Homeless people with symptoms are being sent to the New Street shelter. Plans are in place to move everyone from the War Memorial to more suitable locations as soon as possible. They were trying to move people to the Fairfield Hall dorm on the WestConn campus but this fell through.
We will work to support this effort however we can. The City is trying to arrange food preparation at the shelter sites, so as of now, it’s not clear what food needs may be. For the time being, we are supplying grab and go bags for evening meals.
We have also worked with local social service agencies to get a number of homeless people 60 years of age and older placed in hotels, which allow less contact with other people than an environment like the War Memorial
If you want to help or just keep informed, daily status updates and donation needs are posted on our website at www.dorothydaydanbury.org
No one knows what the immediate future will bring or what our role will be. However, we remain committed to caring for and supporting the most vulnerable members of our community.