| Apr 6, 2020
Itu Housing Ministry during C19
This week Ali listened to a podcast on the current state of services to the homeless in Ohio. It was reassuring to know that we are not off in left-field in our preparations for the looming dangers of C19. Here's what they said that matches our last month -
For people serving on the frontlines, this is both a sprint AND a marathon.
We are in a sprint to get ready for the massive danger that is moving in fast. Ohio's response, like ours, has been to prepare two new types of housing: de-concentration shelters and isolation housing. Interestingly enough, Crescimento Limpo had prepared to offer for-rent housing in 2020 for residents transitioning out of our halfway house; which means we were well positioned to adapt our plans and meet the immediate needs of this crisis. This was a good reminder of the God who goes before us and comes behind us.
Our halfway house held 18 residents when Itu's time of quarantine began. We were able to prepare a second house as our de-concentration shelter. Six residents made the move to this new facility, and one resident returned to his family, reducing the occupancy at our downtown location to 11 residents.
We are currently working to create isolation housing. We were in the process of remodeling an existing space behind our original halfway house to create two small lofts. That construction continues, but with a different purpose nowadays; in two weeks we hope to have space available for the isolation of sick individuals, where they can recover and receive the needed care.
So now begins the marathon. We are relearning how to minister to our friends in these new days. We shuttle residents from the house to our farm where they can breathe new air and feel productive, since pursuing employment isn't possible. Our team works an adjusted "check-in" schedule in order to continue to accompany and care for our residents, now in two locations, while protecting ourselves. I am using movies (I would love to have your movie suggestions) with positive messages as a therapeutic tool to generate content for the conversations we have at the Casas CL. Sunday mornings I watch our online church service with our CL residents as a way of keeping our connection to our church family.
This virus will bring difficulty for the foreseen future, for all of us, in every area. We know that as our expenses just went up, the income security of our donor base just went down, and everybody is dealing with this same crisis in their own extremely personal way.
Please pray for us as we work our way through this crisis. If you still have the means to offer financial support, know that all organizations that work in support of the vulnerable are counting on those who can support to support. Our recovery ministry, Crescimento Limpo, can easily be supported through GlobalGiving.
Here are the specific needs we encounter as we prepare and live through the covid-19 crisis:
- Our café and urban farm created 11 jobs, which is fantastic and beyond what we expected! But now with the farm and café closed to the public, we chose to use our farm to produce needed food and to meet the salaries for our staff - most of whom have moved on from our halfway house to independent rentals, and responsible for supporting their families. These salariesamount to US$5,000 per month, and we need to be ready to meet these payments, with the businesses open or not, for the next three months, totaling US$15,000.
- The remodeling and furnishing of our two isolation apartments will cost US$7,000 (which is due immediately).
- The monthly budget of our halfway house meals, staff salaries, utilities, etc. (based on 2019 expenditures) is US$6,800, totaling US$20,400.
It is quite daunting to launch a fundraiser for US$42,400 in the midst of a global crisis, but this is the work that God has entrusted to us, so we are counting on His provision as we care for the vulnerable.
Any donation, big or small, will help towards our Covid Sprint & Marathon Costs.
We count on a God that is bigger than this crisis. We take our lead from Jesus who lived a life of humble service even to the point of death, and beyond. We will get through this. May we all find His peace as we walk the road that we find ourselves on today.
Peace to your home,
Mark and Ali Kaiser