Stability in Our Service

Jul 7, 2020

Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic our staff has been able to use their dedication & your local support to continue making more changes than ever...

The Safe Harbor shelter is a vital resource for Bloomington community members all year around. Being a part of The Salvation Army’s local ministry that is very close & personal, however, made it also extremely susceptible during the outbreak of COVID-19. Alterations and new policies were inevitable for every organization that provides public resources to those in need. What was unexpected though, were these changes bringing expansions to services as more families & individuals were in need throughout the pandemic.  

Reduction in much of the community’s daily routine was a direct result of mandated quarantines and other pandemic protocols. Inversely, the call to serve only increased. To answer this rise in local need, both The Salvation Army’s Safe Harbor staff & support from all over the community came together to create a truly amazing result. 

JoAnna Callahan, the Bloomington Social Services Director, explained in her own words what she saw throughout the continued service during the pandemic:

“ We continued to provide a stable environment throughout the pandemic- establishing our reputation in the community. We have an amazing team here who were able to adapt to the changes necessary to keep everyone safe- all while maintaining their compassion for those that we serve. We also had a lot of support from our local health department, other local organizations, and donations from the community.”

  Some of the specific ways in which these efforts were brought to life include…

  • Temporarily adjusted eligibility for shelter residents to include only those residing in McLean County to discourage travel. 
  •  Purchased no-contact thermometer for use on residents and staff
  • Added health screening tool for all those requesting services
  • Reduced use of volunteers in shelter operations
  •  Halted in-person office meetings with residents. Meetings were completed through service windows.
  •  Staff staggered scheduled to reduce the number of people in the office space at one time.
  •  Altered meal practices to include using disposable plates/silverware

All of this helped accomplish the amazing feat of keeping the 24 hour facility operating throughout the pandemic with no staff or resident contracting/spreading COVID-19. The amount of work that went into keeping The Safe Harbor Shelter such an amazing community resource did not go unnoticed. Every resident outwardly showed their gratitude for the combined help from The Salvation Army & their Bloomington neighbors who joined the Fight for Good!

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