As we are all navigating through uncharted waters during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Salvation Army of Central Virginia was grateful to provide support for its Boys & Girls Club members by offering a limited-capacity summer camp. We know how adults have been challenged by all that is going on, however the pandemic and quarantine have also taken a toll on youth. From not finishing the school year, no longer being around friends or participating in their favorite activities for months, the lives of children and youth look drastically different than they did six months ago. The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club wanted to provide positive support for youth in the area, especially when they needed it most. We wanted to offer what we are here for and are known for: creating an atmosphere of fun and learning while also providing relief for parents while they are away. The scripture below was shared with Boys & Girls Club staff in preparation for reopening during these trying times:
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Staff spent the weeks leading up to summer camp learning about all CDC/State health and safety guidelines and revamping protocols to fit the current circumstance. Staff have made sure that all individuals will remain safe including measures such as: parent drop off, taking temperatures twice a day, limiting class sizes, ensuring social distancing, planning creative programming, monitoring use of face masks and hand washing, and more. Summer camp opened on June 22nd and is now in week four. While initially opening under new circumstances was tricky, staff and camp participants are now comfortably enjoying camp while remaining safe and healthy. The last few weeks have been full of activities, energy, creative programming, smiles, and laughter. Staff, parents and club members alike have been getting into the flow of navigating as we provide an optimum Club experience once again!
The Salvation Army Central Virginia opened a temporary housing center today in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The center will actively protect the health and safety of individuals identified as higher risk to the exposure of the COVID-19 virus.
The Salvation Army is an active member of the Greater Richmond Continuum of Care and this temporary center is a collaborative effort to provide professional housing and health support to clients in the center. The temporary center will have the potential to house up to 75 individuals who are currently receiving temporary housing through the GRCoC. Residents will have access to comfortable bedding, showers, meals and heightened health care screenings.
“The Salvation Army recognizes that our community and nation is facing many new challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic. With these new challenges, The Salvation Army and the Greater Richmond Continuum of Care is working hard to find solutions,” Major Donald Dohmann of The Salvation Army Central Virginia said. “Opening a temporary center for higher-risk individuals is a unique way to serve our community through the love of Christ and possibly save lives. We are happy that we can continue to serve our community in this unique way.”
The temporary center, which will be separate from the organization’s emergency shelter located at 2 West Grace Street, will house individuals currently in the emergency homeless shelter system who may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19. This temporary center will be housed inside the Salvation Army’s Boys & Girls Club, which has temporarily postponed its standard programming.