COVID-19 Update on Center Programs and Services Effective 5.27.20

The Beth-El Center has maintained consistent alternative programming including the serving two meals per day seven days per week to food insecure community members. We're now serving many new individuals and families who have not previously utilized emergency food services in Milford.

Increased Food Demand
Contributing factors to this increased food need include the additional food costs of households related to children being home from school, significant increases in unemployment and the overall increased need for food due to closures in day programs, community centers. We continue to partner with other community groups and municipal departments including many of our fearless faith leaders as well as private donors who have worked with local restaurants to arrange for meal delivery to individuals and families living in shelter. Additionally, we coordinate with Milford Board of Education and Health and Human Services Department, Milford Food Bank and new groups like Purple Pantry Boxes to ensure limited duplication and increased resource sharing.

Serving Additional Clients at Motel 6
Due to the increase in daily food distribution and the increased sheltering of 37 additional clients at Motel 6, we have experienced a 48% increase in food demand during April and May. Thankfully, special events like the Woodruff YMCA Stuff-A-Bus and on-going in-kind donations from individual community members and groups, as well as funds from a Community Development Block Grant (CBDG), we have meet these increased food needs.

It is important to note that our CDBG food contract has supported a strong relationship with Pop's Family Restaurant in Milford. A long-time friend and supporter of the organization, CDBG funds have been used to purchase daily meals through Pop's Family Restaurant, ensuring that all folks sheltered on New Haven Avenue and Motel 6 receive a warm evening meal.

Adapting Services in Response to the Current Need
We are happy to report that we are able to continue our additional shelter via hoteling until July 1st. The case management services provided to 59 families and individuals on New Haven Avenue and at Motel 6 (including community referrals to mental health services, primary health services, employment support, financial literacy and stable housing planning and transition) continue to yield positive results. These include increased health, employment and housing outcomes for clients previously unsheltered in our community. In a time of such despair, we are so thrilled to see the positive impact this stable housing resource has provided to our guests.

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