Thanks to friends like you, Rosie’s Place’s doors have remained open throughout the pandemic. Responding to the health crisis, our programs and service delivery changed in March 2020. Prioritizing the health and stability of our community—we incorporated social distancing as well as medical screenings and intensive cleaning and hygienic practices organization-wide. Our resources were challenged, and how we give our help has changed—but our welcome and compassion have never stopped. In FY2020, forty-six years after our founding, you helped us to accomplish so much.
Survival & Sanctuary_____________________________________________________________________
- Our Emergency Overnight Shelter provided 375 three-week stays to 207 unique women from July 1, 2019 through March 15, 2020. During their time with us, guests worked with our Advocates to find permanent homes and secure the services they need.
o As of March 16, 2020, we extended indefinitely, the stays of the 20 women staying with us. This continuity and stability has been integral in keeping our guests and staff well. Should guests secure other housing and move out, we have established quarantine and testing procedures to ensure new guests are safely introduced to the established community.
- Open 365 days of the year, Rosie’s Place’s Dining Room served 69,919 nutritionally balanced breakfasts, lunches and dinners from July 1, 2019 through March 15, 2020.
o When Massachusetts residents were ordered to stay-at-home, our Dining Room began serving only homeless women. From March 16 to June 30, 2020, we served 18,190 meals to-go or for guests to enjoy at a social distance in our Dining Room. This is a total of 88,109 meals served over the year. Additionally, we added hearty, nutritious snacks to the menu, enabling us to provide food all day long to our guests, so that at any time a woman came into Rosie’s Place, she had immediate access to food.
- Rosie’s Place’s Food Pantry welcomed 17,781 visits from July 1, 2019 through March 15, 2020—providing an average of 2,091 women per month, with two bags (20 to 30 pounds) of groceries.
o When Massachusetts residents were ordered to stay-at-home, our Pantry was moved outdoors in order to lower the risk of crowding and infection in our main building. From March 16to June 30, 2020, we accommodated 13,054 visits. Every woman was given a pre-made bag of shelf-stable groceries as well as a bag of fresh produce. We also distributed masks and household items such as toilet paper in these bags. Since the start of the pandemic, food insecurity has surged and in response, this critical program nearly doubled its capacity—serving an average of 3,729 visits per month.
- Our Wellness Center accommodated 2,453 visits from July 1, 2019 through March 15, 2020. Volunteer doctors, nurses and medical students assisted women with: routine vital signs checking, blood sugar level-monitoring, immunizations, pregnancy testing, blood pressure screening, dental referrals and addiction services.
o Following the onset of the pandemic, our Wellness Center services transformed into medical screenings for each guest who visits our facility. Health Care Without Walls, one of our longtime Wellness Center partners, helps us to screen guests for fever, cough and other COVID-19 symptoms. With their expertise, we are able to keep up-to-date logs of guests’ baselines and should any COVID-19 symptoms be discovered, refer them to nearby medical services for testing or treatment. From March 16to June 30, 2020, we performed an average of 90 medical screenings each day.
- Rosie’s Place provided:5,463 showers, 1,084 loads of laundry, 4,460 phone uses and 4,002 computer uses from July 1, 2019 through March 15, 2020.
o When Massachusetts residents were ordered to stay-at-home, our main facility began serving only homeless women in-person as many of our housed guests were able to shelter in place. From March 16 to June 30, 2020, the need for these basic—and critical survival services for homeless women was acute. We provided the most basic and critical services such as: showers, clean clothing, Tracfones, lockers to store their belongings, masks and hand sanitizer and toiletries to help women sanitize when on the streets or in other programs.
Advocacy & Empowerment_________________________________________________________________
- Pre-pandemic, our Advocacy department logged 10,099 appointments, helping guests with housing, medical services, educational and employment opportunities, legal advice, clothing, transportation and emergency funds for prescriptions and eviction prevention.
o In response to the health crisis, our Advocacy services became remote, moving from in-person to online and over the phone assistance.FromMarch 16 to June 30, 2020, Advocates addressed 3,767 calls seeking our assistance, for a total of 13,866 appointments.
- Over the course of the year, our Mental Health Clinicians provided 3,959 in-person and over-the-phone sessions with guests who struggle to access and maintain consistent therapy.
- Pre-pandemic, Legal Services staff provided 962 consultations to guests, helping them with housing, family, immigration, employment, debt and benefit matters.
o Following the health crisis, our Legal Services became remote, moving from in-person to online and over the phone assistance.FromMarch 16 to June 30, 2020, our Legal Services staff addressed 201 calls seeking our assistance, for a total of 1,163 consultations.
Opportunities & Steppingstones______________________________________________________________
- Our Women’s Education Center provided 375 students with an opportunity to improve their skills and increase their self-sufficiency through free ESOL, Literacy and Technology courses and one-
o In the wake of the pandemic, Rosie’s Place discontinued our in-person education courses schedule for the spring, which are led by almost 100 volunteer teachers. From March through June 2020, we have reached out to our many students to check on their wellbeing, and connected them with services. Staff also researched viable remote learning technology for our students—many of whom lack computers and/or computer knowledge to use traditional online education tools. This resulted in a multi-pronged approach to teaching: a pilot Zoom ESOL class is now underway for tech-savvy students; a curriculum comprised of 6 weekly conversations on topics such as Staying Safe in the Pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests, through scheduled phone calls with teachers for 75 students has begun, and we have purchased 100 subscriptions to a low-barrier remote learning software for students with the technology and know-how to utilize it.
- Our Employment Specialist accommodated 659 in-person and over-the-phone sessions through the year—helping guests with employment searches, resume writing, job applications and interview skills.
o COVID-19 has brought high unemployment rates and high occupational health risks to much of the workforce. Consequently, our Employment Specialist helped guests navigate unemployment benefits and in seeking work in new fields.
- Our Women’s Craft Cooperative—a successful micro-enterprise offering employment opportunities in a supportive environment for women who may face obstacles in traditional workplaces—graduated 2 guests—with significant new skills and job experience—from its year-long program.
Outreach & Stabilization___________________________________________________________________
- 100% of the 58 guests receiving our Stabilization and Community Health Outreach services remained housed and stable this year.
- Our innovative Community Collaborative brings the resources of Rosie’s Place to underserved communities of women in the Boston area. From July 1, 2019 through March 15, 2020:
- At the Franklin Field housing development in Dorchester, we accommodated 1,027 appointments, providing women with groceries, advocacy and legal and job assistance. In January, 2020, this program merged with our Advocacy program, with support being offered to this community remotely.
- Working in 50 Boston Public Schools, we accommodated 2,171 visits from mothers, assisting them with advocacy, housing and food needs.
- In nine area courthouses, we accommodated 1,014 visits, helping women who were there as victims, offenders or witnesses, to access food, housing and shelter assistance.
- Due to the health crisis, courthouses and public schools were closed statewide. In response, our Community Collaborative Advocates combined their expertise with the Advocates at our main facility and—working remotely—addressed 3,767 calls seeking our assistance from March 16, 2020 through June 30, 2020.
- Our Friendly Visitor program connects volunteers with women who are isolated, living in nursing homes, hospitals or home-bound, unable to come to Rosie’s Place. Volunteers make regular phone calls, write letters and when possible, make socially distant visits to the same woman, providing friendship and companionship. This year, 63 marginalized women received regular visits from our dedicated volunteers.