I'm sure that all of us have been stunned by recent developments as the COVID-19 outbreak has escalated throughout the world and our country. The Good News is that we rest in the hands of a mighty God. That has not changed. The same God who healed the leper and rescued his people from slavery is the very same God who watches over us.
"The Lord is my protector; he is my strong fortress. My God is my protection, and with him I am safe. He protects me like a shield; he defends me and keeps me safe" – Psalm 18:2.
With that assurance, Peoria Rescue Ministries remains fully committed to serving our neighbors experiencing homelessness and are actively working to protect the guests in our shelters and to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This letter lists some of the steps we are currently taking. However, the situation is evolving from day to day and, in many cases, hour to hour. We will post regular updates on our website as to our specific actions in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
To date, no known cases of the coronavirus have been identified at Peoria Rescue Ministries facilities, and we pray none develop. To ensure the safety of our guests and staff, we are actively working with the Peoria County Public
Health Department, our city officials, and even the CDC and The U.S Interagency Council on Homeless (USICH) through our CITYGATE NETWORK partnership. With their guidance, we have developed emergency response plans and other protective measures.
We covet your prayers during this new, uncertain time. I expect you feel the stress of this outbreak, and perhaps it's caused a major disruption to your family and way of life. Even so, I humbly ask you to remember us today. Regardless of an external crisis and like the Health Care providers, Peoria Rescue Ministries must continue serving men, women, and children with nowhere else to go. We are their safety net.
As precautions for our staff, guests, and volunteers, we are temporarily suspending almost all volunteer involvement. Our staff will be stretched, as will our resources. We need your help right now.
First and foremost - please pray!! Pray for God's protection over Peoria Rescue Ministries and the precious guests we serve--many of whom have underlying health issues. We trust in God as our sustainer, provider, and healer.
And friend, I humbly ask that you continue to give. Your past support has placed us in a strong position to respond to this situation, but this is an uncertain economic time, and we hope that giving will not drop when it is most needed...and we do not receive government money. To provide critical care and services our community relies on, we will need your continued help.
At a very practical level, we need some critical items to weather this storm. With the stress on supply levels we need:
• Large bottles of Hand Sanitizer
• Sanitizing Wipes
• N-95 Masks
• Surgical Gloves
• Lysol Spray
If you have any of these items that you can spare, you can be a direct help in making sure we have enough of these supplies across our facilities. Simply drop these items off to our main office entrance at 601 SW Adams St.
This crisis is a great reminder of how important the community is. You have always been incredibly generous to the men, women, and children who come through our doors, and we are so grateful to be partnering with you.
Most importantly, it is a time for us to trust in our good, wise, and faithful Father who has all things in His hands.
By His Grace,