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Shelter, Food, Security CEO Message

April 7th, 2020

Shelter, Food, Security
CEO Message

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The grace of these unprecedented times is that so many of us are changing our daily lives out of concern for our neighbors and loved ones.  The essence of social distancing and shelter-in-place is concern for the whole community, particularly those who are most vulnerable to the health consequences of COVID-19.

We’re learning how we respond when tested.  We’re witnessing the value of friends, family, teachers, grocery store staff, health care providers and custodians, and all the people whose daily jobs keep us fed, sheltered, and safe.

Today, job loss is hitting people hard.  We all know the Bay Area is expensive, and many people – particularly single moms and dads – work more than one job and intense hours to pay the rent or mortgage and keep food on the table, let alone the other necessities of life.

Our front-line team members have not paused in their work.  They are getting more calls for help than ever, more than doubled in some locations.  People who have never had to ask for help in their lives, particularly single parents and restaurant workers, are now out of a job.

People need help with rent, and in our markets, unemployment benefits are not going to be enough.  Our mental health clinicians report that food and housing insecurity are top of mind when they check in with clients.  It is even more difficult when shelves are bare and low-cost items like rice and dried beans are in short supply, or when you can’t afford delivery and don’t have a car or the cash to buy a two-week supply.

We’ve launched an emergency COVID-19 campaign to raise dollars to help fill the gaps for those in need. And we’re continually listening and assessing to see how we can best provide for people along this journey.

Anything more you can do to be part of the chain of support is crucial.  This is for the hard-working laborers who cannot work from home and have little to fall back on, perhaps even the waitperson at your favorite local restaurant.

With grateful prayers for your continued health and well-being,

Margaret Peterson, CEO