COVID-19 Update 03/24/2020

Updated 03/24/2020

HRH Friends and Supporters,

I hope you are all staying well. I want to provide a few new updates on our operations.

We successfully relocated the Webster House emergency shelter operations on Friday evening to the Dutchess County pods on North Hamilton Street in Poughkeepsie. This move allows for greater social distancing in the shelter and helps us better respond to the needs of our homeless community during this time. It was a significant team effort and all went well. We are in regular communication with Dutchess County staff and Mental Health America staff as we make this change, and are grateful for their partnership and support.

The numbers of guests seeking shelter are quite high, averaging 90 individuals each night, with the highest being 98 last night. We are currently utilizing two of the four available pods and beds are spaced at least 6 feet apart. We have plans to expand to a third pod as demand increases.  Each pod also has a separate, private room which is reserved for vulnerable populations or those experiencing symptoms. To date, we have not had any guests experiencing symptoms.

All staff have been equipped with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), although supplies are running low. We are particularly in need of face masks to help protect our staff that remain on site during this difficult time. If you can help with donations, it would be much appreciated. You can contact volunteer@hudsonriverhousing.org if you can help.

Our wonderful Adopt A Night volunteer groups continue to provide the evening meals. We are also serving breakfast to our guests, with lunch provided by Dutchess Outreach. With our numbers being so high, additional donations of meals are greatly appreciated.  If you would like to assist by providing breakfast or dinner meals, food can be delivered to Hillcrest House at 28 Snow Terrace in Poughkeepsie between 12noon and 6pm. Please reach out to volunteer@hudsonriverhousing.org with questions.

All of our residential programs, including River Haven Youth Shelter, Hillcrest House, and Hudson River Lodging, remain open to serve those in need, even though we are operating with limited staffing and are closed to visitors. Food service, housekeeping, and maintenance staff are on duty as required, instructed to wear PPE at all times and take all required precautions. All other HRH locations are closed to the public and staff are working from home.

Please note that we are also still accepting housing applications and are filling units as they are available!

For Tenants: Our property managers and care managers remain in close contact with tenants via phone and virtual tools. All tenants are encouraged to be in direct contact with the property manager for their site with concerns or questions.

HomeOwnership: For those looking to get in touch with our HomeOwnership Center team, please leave a message at (845) 454-9288 and someone will return your call. Many programs are moving online and we will be in touch with customers about those changes as they are finalized. Our counselors are working remotely and here to help.

Rental Payments: Our Administrative Offices at 313 Mill Street in Poughkeepsie are now closed to the public. You may still reach us by calling our main number at (845) 454-5176 and someone will return your call. For those who typically make rental payments at the main office, we encourage you to pay by mail or online at hudsonriverhousing.org. Money order fees will be reimbursed. Tenants experiencing hardship or who have questions should reach out to their property manager directly.

Emergency Response Fund: We are working hard to respond to the needs of our community, and are anticipating a surge in demand for services as the economic impacts of the pandemic become more widespread. Please consider a contribution of any size to our Emergency Response Fund at hudsonriverhousing.org. Our number one priority is to keep staff and residents safe and healthy, and we are doing everything we can to achieve that.

Thank you so much for your support during this time. It is greatly appreciated by all. Please be well.

Christa Hines, Executive Director

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