I have bleached the shelter houses three times this week.
I have told the homeless residents that they do not need to leave the shelter to look for work or housing. I do however expect them to use the internet to continue to look and make contacts.
I have given everybody an extra 2-week extension to stay in the 90-day shelters.
We are wiping every possible surface down with cavi wipes twice a day in our offices. As much as possible all of our case management is done via telephone or text with the clients.
But many of my homeless charges are also addicts. They need to go to treatment. They need to see a therapist. They need someone to check in especially during these incredibly emotional times. Stress can cause a relapse and we need everybody to be sober.
Although I am certain that drug dealers are not listed as essential businesses and employees, they are probably making a small killing right about now in revenue. The drug treatment center model requires patient interaction or they won’t be able to Bill for services and stay in business and provide excellent service for other people who will need it both today and in the future.
I’m a little freaked out. as much as possible I am keeping clients from walking through the door and talking to my staff in person. I am trying to have those one-on-one conversations myself to shield the staff. I’m going out to the shelters and interviewing the clients and talking to them and doing paperwork and bringing everything back to their case managers. I can’t imagine willingly letting them expose themselves to this virus if I had the opportunity to step between them and the patients and clients.
But I’m exhausted. other agencies are paying hazard pay to their case managers who are continuing to see patients and clients. But mine isn’t. To be perfectly honest I was about ready to jump ship and leave the hellhole that is my current job but I’m glad that I stayed because hey I get a paycheck and more than ever I feel useful and needed. I also really like my direct supervisor now that I have one who has time to talk to me. But let’s be real, the HR ladies are the stuff of nightmares.
It’s frustrating to have to explain to people the difference between an essential employee and a non-essential employee. As a former IT worker it’s frustrating to not have coworkers who know how to use the technology given to them to do things like meet and Microsoft teams or have a zoom meeting or even how to connect their speaker or cameras. I spent $200 yesterday buying headsets so that we could have teams meetings. Oh that’s $200 of my own money.
I am also just kind of waiting for this to get to me. I am at the store I am at shelters I am in the office I am talking to people and I am in the hospitals and I am being coughed on. I feel like it’s only a matter of time.
And of course my daughter is in third grade and her school has shut down for the next several weeks. We don’t know if this is a temporary thing or if it’s through the end of the year.
Trying to find childcare and afford child care and arrange child care when the whole world is being told to stay away from each other is something of a logistical nightmare. I don’t have family so it is just a team of two happening over here. I’ve been very lucky that she has friends who have been willing to watch her during the day so I can go into the office.
I can’t work from home and also go see clients all at the same time. I’m kind of torn.
I don’t want to use my sick and vacation days and just stay home because I know that I can handle this situation better than anybody else in my departments and in my programs. It would be doing a great just service to everybody.
So that’s where we are on a late Thursday night during this first week of the Corona virus craziness. It’s been freezing cold and raining most of the week. I’ve been watching the news and reading everything I can about these new shelters that are supposedly opening, but you and I have been around this block before and we have heard all the empty promises.
Keep me in your prayers and let me know how you are doing.