Talbot House Ministries is executing additional preventative measures to protect its homeless, immunocompromised population while expanding basic services amid the COVID-19 (a.k.a. coronavirus) pandemic.

Preventative measures include ramping up daily janitorial routines, distributing hand sanitizer and masks to those in need, screening clients for symptoms regularly, and strategically selecting staff to work remotely over the next two weeks. Group meetings and volunteer activities (excluding Good Samaritan Free Clinic volunteers) have also been suspended for the next two weeks out of an abundance of precaution. Talbot House Ministries is in regular contact with the Polk County Department of Health and Emergency Management, and leadership will continue to evaluate the situation. These preventative measures and additional contingency plans will be extended if necessary.

“We can’t close,” stated Dr. Brenda Reddout, Executive Director. “In the coming weeks, our community is depending on us to provide essential food, shelter, and medical care for those with nowhere else to go.”

The current economic downturn is already having an impact on those who are experiencing reduced work hours or are caring for children during the closure of Polk County Public Schools. In anticipation of an increased need, Talbot House Ministries’ food pantry is expanding from once a week to Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:30-11 a.m. Large food boxes will continue to be offered every Friday, with supplementary bags available on Tuesdays. Dining services and bagged meals will continue to be offered seven days a week, at 6:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 5:30 p.m.

The Good Samaritan Free Clinic is seeking additional doctors and nurse practitioners to volunteer during this time. Those interested can submit a volunteer application here.

Other ways that you can help include:

  • Pray. Keep the health of our community in your prayers during this time.
  • Contribute. Soap, hand sanitizer, disposable paper products and cutlery are all especially needed. Donations can be dropped off at our drive-through ramp – no personal contact required!
  • Donate. If you can’t send goods, consider making an emergency gift to support the purchase of additional thermometers, masks, gloves, and other supplies necessary to house and feed increasing numbers of overnight guests.