It’s a marathon, not a sprint – we’re on our way and we have miles to go!

Six weeks ago the race started; the shelters opened and we’ve been running ever since. Like a marathon, there are times we feel the exhaustion, there are times that feel like a downhill coast, there are times we wonder if we can do it. And there are times when the crowd cheers us on, someone hands us a water or we get a wave from a friend and that that moves us forward.

On this rainy Saturday we celebrate the folks who cheer us on. Thank you to Teresa Kleinschmidt, who recently had disinfectant and medicine shipped to the shelters. To Brian Wagner,who has offered to deliver donations to the shelters. To Kevin Somdahl-Sands for the financial donation. To Involve Minnesota, who made and delivered 100 bag lunches. Thank you all! Your generosity and thoughtfulness put a pep in our step.

Another celebration? We got funding for another month until May 31!! The money comes as an unexpected second investment from the original Minnesota Winter Homeless Fund. For that we are thankful. But as I said, this is a marathon, not a sprint, we still have a long way to go.

Six weeks ago, the world was a different place – thanks to COVID-19. Our expenses have increased as we strive to protect our guests and the general public:

  • We need more disinfectant and time to use it.
  • We have to limit volunteer activity in respect to social distancing
  • Staff time is spent asking a series of health questions to screen for potentially sick or vulnerable guests. (We are thankful to have a nurse practitioner on staff but as she administers to health issues, someone else must take on her scheduled tasks.)
  • Staff time is also spent addressing an increase in mental health issues as we all manage heightened anxiety related to the impact of COVID-19 threat.

So the marathon is on – but our form is good and our spirits are up. But if you want to cheer us on – donations are always welcome!

Published by Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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