COVID-19 Update

Every day, we learn more about COVID-19. With all of the uncertainty during this unprecedented crisis, Calvary Women’s Services’ priority is still the same as it has always been: ensuring the health, safety, and wellbeing of the women at Calvary and our staff.

Here’s how we have adapted to keep our Calvary family safe.

  • Suspended all in-person volunteer operations until further notice to protect the safety of our women, staff, and volunteers. Volunteers provide an essential service to Calvary. They teach LEAP classes, provide overnight support, and work the front desk. Total, the work they provide to Calvary adds up to three full time employees. Without most of our volunteer force, essential staff are working overtime to fill in hours. Fortunately, we are still able to accept no-contact food drop off from volunteers.
  • Transitioned in-person Life-skills, Education, Arts Program (LEAP) classes into virtual classes. A few of our LEAP volunteers have been able to transition their class into a virtual class that can be done through Zoom. This allows for the women, who largely must remain indoors at Calvary, to continue learning.
  • Implemented new daily activities. To ensure their mental health and sobriety, residents now have access to various new activities aside from LEAP classes, such as movies, art therapy, and tai chi.
  • Provided meals every day, three times a day. We have added daily lunches to the meals we provide, totaling to 4,800 additional meals over nine weeks.
  • Staff and residents are always required to wear facemasks and remain 6 feet apart while in common areas of the building. This has required a lot of adjustment from our normal practices. Meals are now split into shifts, with only one person per table to ensure social distancing.
  • Added regularly scheduled deep cleanings of the entire building and additional cleaning protocols. Seasonal diseases such as the flu and colds have always been a concern for community organizations such as Calvary. As such, we have always had strong policies and culture of hygiene, including frequent hand washing, disinfecting surfaces, and avoiding ill people. We have continued these policies, while adding additional days for deep cleaning.
  • Continued to provide our life saving services. Therapy, case management, and relapse prevention groups are essential to the women at Calvary. We have increased their access to these services, including splitting up our relapse prevention groups to two sessions to ensure proper social distancing.

With all these changes to our standard protocol, we have taken a heavy financial hit. We are spending an additional $1,000 per day, and with the cancellation of our flagship event, the Hope Awards Dinner, we could lose up to one million dollars in revenue by the end of this year.

For over 35 years, our doors have remained open for the most vulnerable women in DC. Even during this pandemic, we will not close our doors. This has only been possible because of supporters like you.

Now more than ever, we need your help. The top three ways you can support us right now are:

  1. Donating to our Urgent Needs Fund. Set up specifically to support us through this pandemic, this special fund goes wherever the money is needed most to ensure the safety of everyone at Calvary.
  2. Make a gift to our Giving Catalog. With essential items such as meals, cleaning supplies, and expanding relapse prevention support, this is the perfect way to give directly.
  3. Start a fundraiser for us. Supporters like you have a unique ability to help us by tapping into your social network. It’s easy to set up a fundraising page that you can share on your social media and email to spread the word about our life saving work.

We have gotten the chance to speak to various media outlets about how the pandemic has affected the Calvary community. WJLA talked to one of our residents about losing her job because of the virus. WUSA9 talked to Kris Thompson, CEO of Calvary, about the changes that we have adopted to keep everyone safe. DC Patch talked with another one of our residents about the hope that she feels being at Calvary, even during the pandemic. In her words, “…I do know that with Calvary on my side, I’m going to be fine.”

Thank you for continuing to stand with us and for supporting the women who call Calvary home.

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