Update 2: For All Furniture Banks COVID Messaging

Furniture Bank Network

FOR OTHER FURNITURE BANKS NAVIGATING THIS CRISIS

Communicating with Donors

There are many creative approaches to navigating this challenge while supporting families to create homes to be ‘self-isolated in’ in many cases. The following is our growing list of resources that are directly relevant to Furniture Banks. There are many official sources on the virus itself, this document is focused on how Furniture Bank’s can chart their way through it together.

For Your Website (Sample 1)

The health, well-being and safety of our families served, donors, volunteers, and staff is our top focus. We are diligently monitoring the spread and impact of COVID-19 virus and following the advice of Federal, State and Local government health officials. Please know that we will be making regular adjustments to our services, operations, and staffing models in this rapidly changing environment. We encourage you to take necessary precautions for you and your family. Please know that our goal is to serve you the best we can in these challenging times.

Here are several changes we are making:

  • Clients referred for services can request furniture without coming to our facility. If a client desires, we can select the furniture for them and deliver it curbside. Another option available is the case manager could also select the items for the family. Just contact XXX at 444-444-4444 or at ABC@ABCFURNITUREBANK.ORG and we will arrange the service.
  • For donors requesting a pick up, we are still providing these services at this time. However, we strongly encourage you to set items on a covered porch or in the garage. This will minimize the contact between our staff and the donor and hopefully slow the spread of the virus. If you or someone in your household is ill, we ask you to postpone your pick up until your household is virus free.
  • Please know that we will continue to adjust our services as needed and we ask that you continue to monitor our website for updates.

Thanks.

Signature

(Source: FURNITURE BANK OF CENTRAL OHIO)

Examples from other Furniture Banks

As of March 17th these were the public notices we found as we researched our own response. If you see others in the days to come that we should all consider leveraging for our own sites do email me at dan.kershaw@furniturebank.org

NW Furniture Bank https://www.nwfurniturebank.org/blog/safeguarding-our-health-what-nw-furniture-bank-is-doing
Community Warehouse https://www.communitywarehouse.org/
Bridging https://www.bridging.org/blog/bridgings-plan-and-response-to-covid19/
Sharing Connections https://www.sharingconnections.org/warehouse-operations-suspended.html
Caritas https://www.caritasva.org/covid19-response/
Columbus FB http://furniturebankcoh.org/
Cincinnati FB http://nlfurniture.org/
Atlanta FB http://furniturebankatlanta.org/
https://furniturebankatlanta.org/2020/03/13/covid-19-update/
Charlotte FB https://www.crisisassistance.org/2020/03/16/crisis-assistance-ministry-announces-closure-due-to-covid19/

 

Examples from Other FB Organizations

Note: If you have an example of another helpful message format do send it to me and I will add (dan.kershaw@furniturebank.org)

FURNITURE SHAREHOUSE HAS SUSPENDED OPERATIONS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

(March 21, 2020) Due to the Covid-19 health crisis, Furniture Sharehouse has discontinued regular client appointments until further notice.  However, Member Agencies with clients in dire emergency need of furniture should contact office@furnituresharehouse.org with details to see if emergency assistance can be provided. We are also maintaining a waiting list for future appointments once restrictions are lifted, so please send your future appointment requests to office@furnituresharehouse.org and we will be in touch when we are able to resume normal operations.

We are also suspending furniture pick-ups and drop-offs until further notice. But PLEASE hold onto your nice furniture donations until we are able to resume normal operations, because we know there will be LOTS of families in dire need of free furniture when the crisis is over. We apologize for the inconvenience and look forward to accepting your furniture as soon as possible.

Please contact office@furnituresharehouse.org with questions or concerns.

Stay safe and healthy and we look forward to resumption of business as soon as it is practical to do so.

Regards,

Your Friends at Furniture Sharehouse


(The Following were current as of March 16th)

Safeguarding Our Health – What NW Furniture Bank is Doing

We are all facing unprecedented challenges associated with Covid-19. School closures in King and Pierce Counties until April 24th will have a big impact on how our staff and clients can balance work and home. Our main focus during this time is to safeguard the health of our staff, clients, volunteers and to work with the community to slow the spread.

The same measures that are being taken in Tacoma will also apply to our Vancouver location.

Here is what the Furniture Bank is doing:

  • Closed to all volunteers and volunteer groups effective immediately.
  • We are being vigilant and cleaning counters, doors and all other frequently touched surfaces. Washing hands, hand sanitizers and social distancing is being practiced.
  • Orientations for new caseworkers are cancelled in Tacoma and Vancouver until further notice.
  • All staff that can work from home have been set up with computers so they can do so.
  • If someone demonstrates illness they are asked to clock out and go home.

Our team is currently working hard designing contingency plans to continue serving our clients and donors of furniture, with a goal of serving them for as long as possible. This will depend on our own health, our client’s health and community furniture donations. The retail stores will stay open as long as staff is healthy and customers keep coming in.

If we are directed to close by the Governor, Health Department, or another official, we will communicate that to you as soon as possible on our web page and social media.

If you are feeling a new level of anxiety or dread know that it is normal to feel like this when we know something is coming but really don’t know how to handle it. My hope is that this forced “pause” will fill us with more compassion and a better sense of what is important in life. We will all emerge with new business practices and perspectives that we did not even know we had.

Thank you for understanding and your continued support of our mission.

Bill Lemke

Executive Director 

 

Community Warehouse – Temporary SERVICE CLOSURE: March 16-29

3/15/20: The health and safety of our whole community (including our clients, staff, volunteers, donors, customers) is our greatest priority.

In response to the threat of COVID-19, Community Warehouse furniture banks and Estate Stores will be closed to the public for two weeks, March 16 – March 29. We plan to reopen on Monday, March 30.

We are immediately suspending:

  • Dropoff donations
  • Pickup donations
  • Client appointments
  • Estate Store operations
  • Community events (partner orientations, volunteer activities, community collection drives, etc.)

We recognize the nature of our service, to collect and redistribute home goods, means we are a connection point for many people throughout our community. In the midst of this dynamic public health crisis, we are committed to our responsibility to reduce the potential spread of the virus by limiting contact.

After careful consideration, our most responsible option to ensure everyone is protected is to close to the public. We know this decision will impact our community partners, clients, and donors. We will continue to monitor developments and assess our best course of action to safely resume our services as soon as possible. Please utilize our alternative resources guide in the meantime. During this time, expect regular updates from us in this space.

How you can support us:

  • Consider a  monetary donation to help us stabilize our services.
  • Clean and set aside gently-used items to donate when we reopen.
  • Inform your networks about the importance of supporting our services.
  • If you currently have an appointment with us, we will contact you to discuss rescheduling. Contact us if you have not heard from us within 72 hrs of your scheduled appointment.

For information about COVID-19 and how to safeguard yourself and your community,
visit the Multnomah County Health Department (in multiple languages Español – Tiếng Việt – Pусский – 中文 – العربية), or visit the CDC website.

Bridging – Bridging’s Plan and Response to COVID-19

03/15/2020 by Diana Dalsin

Updated: March 16, 2020 at 11:00 a.m.

This page will be regularly updated with the most accurate information regarding program and services impact.

The safety and well-being of our clients, volunteers, visitors and employees continues to be our top priority as we continue to monitor and respond to the evolving impact of COVID-19 on our community. Bridging is actively monitoring communications from the CDC and MN Department of Health.

We intend to align our decisions with the best information available and will do our best to be responsible and timely in making and communicating decisions. Experts suggest all of us—no matter our age or health—practice “social distancing” to play our part in slowing the virus.

At Bridging, we know that basic home essentials are vital to our clients and mission but our operation is currently not set up for adequate social distancing and on a daily basis we have a significant volume of visitors, clients and volunteers, at our warehouses. Therefore, changes must be made at this time.

News & Updates…

 

Columbus Furniture Bank COVID-19 Update

The health, well-being, and safety of our families served, donors, volunteers, and staff is our top focus. We are diligently monitoring the spread and impact of COVID-19 virus and following the advice of Federal, State and Local government health officials. Please know that we will be making regular adjustments to our services, operations, and staffing models in this rapidly changing environment. We encourage you to take the necessary precautions for you and your family. Please know that our goal is to serve you the best we can in these challenging times.

Here are several changes we are making:

  • Out of an abundance of caution, all volunteer opportunities are canceled until further notice. In addition, the volunteer luncheons scheduled for March 17th and March 26th are postponed.
  • Our Furniture with a Heart Thrift Store is operating with reduced hours Monday through Friday from 10 am to 6 pm. Weekend hours remain the same.
  • Clients referred for services can request furniture without coming to our facility. If a client desires, we can select the furniture for them and deliver it curbside. Another option available is the case manager could also select the items for the family. Just contact Lisa at 614-545-3839 or at lgilham@furniturebankcoh.org and we will arrange the service.
  • For donors requesting a pickup, we are still providing these services at this time. However, we strongly encourage you to set items on a covered porch or in the garage. This will minimize the contact between our staff and the donor and hopefully slow the spread of the virus. If you or someone in your household is ill, we ask you to postpone your pick up until your household is virus-free.

Please know that we will continue to adjust our services as needed and we ask that you continue to monitor our website and social media for updates.

Thanks, Steve Votaw

President of the Furniture Bank

 

Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta  COVID-19 Update

Our staff has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak in Atlanta. In order to maintain the safety of our staff, volunteers, donors, and clients, we will be closed to the public for 2 weeks effective March 16th.

We will continue to offer modified furniture services for our clients, as we know it is more important than ever for our clients to feel comfortable and safe at home

Here is how we are doing our part to stop the spread of the virus:

  • We will select furniture for our clients and deliver it outside their homes.
  • We will not have any volunteer projects.
  • We will only pick up furniture donations that are outside the home.
  • We will only allow staff inside our building and warehouse.
  • We will not accept any furniture dropoffs.

All of these changes are to minimize the amount of face-to-face contact our staff has with the public. These changes will be in effect from March 16th – March 27th.

If you have a volunteer project, furniture pickup, or client appointment scheduled after March 27th, please keep an eye out for any communications from us. Our current plan is to move forward with normal operations after March 27th, but we also understand that this situation is constantly changing.

Thank you for bearing with us during this time.

 

Sharing Connections Warehouse Response to COVID-19

We wanted to take a quick moment to address what we are all seeing on the news and provide some operational updates as we explore what actions are best for our volunteers, staff, donors and clients. It’s important that you know that the Sharing Connections team continues to keep up to date on the latest information provided through the Health Department along with additional resources provided through state and federal leadership. Here are some of the current measures being applied to enhance the safety of our facility:

  • Increased cleaning frequency paying special attention to the front office common area, door handles and other high-touch areas.
  • Hand sanitizers located both at the front desk check-in and also located at the volunteer login computer.
  • All restrooms are maintained multiple times each day making sure there is adequate soap and disposable towels.

What we accomplish together each day is very important to the clients we serve. We also take the health of our volunteers, clients and staff very seriously. As a precaution and in support of our volunteer’s health, we have temporarily suspended warehouse operations and donor furniture pickups through the month of March 2020. We will regularly review public health recommendations to provide us with guidance going forward and will adapt our approach as necessary.

What does this mean for furniture donations and item drop offs?

Due to the recent health recommendations surrounding the COVID-19 virus, and out of an abundance of caution for our volunteers, staff, donors and clients, as of March 16, 2020, we have temporarily suspended the acceptance of all item donations (furniture, household items, clothing, etc.) at our warehouse through the month of March 2020.  Furniture pickup services for donors have also been temporarily suspended, but can still be scheduled tentatively for April 2020. We apologize for this temporary inconvenience and look forward to resuming warehouse operations very soon as hundreds of families depend on your generous donations. Please continue to check our website as updates become available.

How can donors still make an impact and help Sharing Connections moving ahead?

With the suspension of warehouse operations through March 2020, it will be even more important to continue to receive financial support as we ramp up services to clients in the coming months. With an increase of 25% in clients served YTD as of February 29th, 2020, we fully understand the challenge this virus has presented and the job ahead for our team to catch up with time lost.

Even with the warehouse operations on hold, staff is still available to provide assistance in any of the areas below. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us as we all work through this challenging time. Together, We Furnish Hope.

Sincerely,

Ryan Varju, CEO

 

CARITAS Our Response to COVID-19

To our valued partners, supporters and friends,

We want to take a moment to inform you of the precautions CARITAS is taking amid the pandemic facing our community. The safety of our clients, staff, volunteers and visitors is our highest priority. We take very seriously our role in caring for a vulnerable group of people within various communal settings. As such, we are working closely with our partners at VCU, Daily Planet Health Services, Homeward, and the City of Richmond to establish protocols for COVID-19, and we are following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

  • Learn more in this quick reference guide.
  • While our classrooms, restrooms, living spaces and offices are cleaned regularly, we are taking the following additional steps to ensure clients, staff, volunteers and visitors remain safe:
  • Increasing the number of hand-sanitizing stations.
  • Escalating cleaning procedures in high-touch areas such as restrooms, door handles, telephones and eating surfaces.
  • Displaying CDC handwashing guidelines in our restrooms.
  • Ensuring our employees have the information and resources they need to stay healthy.
  • Encouraging telecommuting when possible.
  • Offering increased pay to our front-line employees.
  • Suspending all new intakes into The Healing Place for Men.
  • Suspending all new intakes into our 24/7 Specialty Shelter.
  • Canceling all on-site volunteering at The Healing Place.
  • Suspending all Furniture Bank donations, shopping, and onsite volunteers.

We know this is a rapidly-evolving situation, so we will continue to make prudent and necessary updates to our programs to safeguard the welfare of our clients, the community, and the entire CARITAS family.

Ways You Can Help

  • Our partners in the Greater Richmond Continuum of Care have worked with the City of Richmond to create a list of items you can donate to our program and others like ours in the area:
  • $10 gift cards for gas stations and food for shelter residents and unsheltered individuals
  • Cleaning supplies, including: soap, hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol, tissues, trash masks, and disposable face masks
  • Thermometers
  • Canned food
  • Bus tickets.

If you’re interested in donating, please contact Michael Rogers of Homeward at mrogers@homewardva.org or via phone at 804-343-2045 x 22. Read more from the City of Richmond.

Thank you for your support and confidence as we navigate this unprecedented landscape.

With much appreciation,

Karen Stanley, President & CEO

Karen O’Brien, COO

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