Alameda has a COVID-19 pop-up drop-in resource center for people experiencing homelessness.
In early March, as COVID-19 shifted from outbreak to pandemic, Building Futures for Women and Children felt the urgency of finding temporary housing for people living on the streets of Alameda. It approached Christ Episcopal Church about expanding their partnership. Would the church host a pop-up drop-in resource center for people experiencing homelessness? Absolutely. How could we pay for it? The church reached out to Episcopal Impact Fund.
Word started spreading among Alameda’s homeless community that help might be available, even before the deal was sealed. On a morning in late March, nearly a dozen homeless people with their belongings waited on the church’s lawn in hopes of getting services.
Episcopal Impact Fund made an emergency grant to open the center, which is now providing services five days per week between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM. Not only is a social worker onsite to help as many as 25 people per day find temporary housing, a county public health nurse is also available to evaluate and address their health needs. People using the center also get lunch, free of charge. The church mobilized dozens of volunteers who daily prepare bagged lunches for anyone who shows up.
Alisa Rasera-Holden, who is coordinating the volunteers, shared one person’s story. On a recent day, a woman, dressed in hospital scrubs, arrived on Alisa’s porch to pick-up donated food for lunch-making. She had just ended a shift as a doctor at UCSF. Amazed by this woman’s dedication to serving her community on top of her day job on the frontlines of the pandemic, Alisa asked why. The doctor replied, “This is just what we do. It’s good for my family to help our community.”
The drop-in resource center has funding to operate through the end of May.
Across the Bay Area, Episcopal Impact Fund is providing the critical, flexible funding to organizations responding to the pandemic. We depend on your support to continue. 100% of funds donated will quickly go out to the help those in need.