With COVID, it’s been a tough two months for all of us across the state, but it’s been particularly harsh here for our youth and staff at CHNJ. The good news is that our shelters have served youth facing homelessness nonstop since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. So while COVID is still here, we’re still here serving youth.
I’m proud of the job the team has done, but the strain on our front-line staff serving those youth has been dramatic. The past two months have been tough.
In the latest Omicron wave, 44 youth across the state tested positive since early December. On top of that, we have had 32 staff test positive. Between isolating youth who tested positive and staff who tested positive and been unable to come to work, the remaining team worked long hours under stressful conditions.
Thankfully, those who tested positive over the last two months are OK. In general, their symptoms were mild.
Since the pandemic’s start, CHNJ has worked hard to stay ahead of the curve and keep youth and staff safe. We have taken the following steps:
- Educational work with our youth to encourage vaccination.
- Weekly PCR testing of youth and staff.
- Mandatory masking as per CDC guidelines, enhanced to N95 masking during outbreaks of COVID onsite.
- Social distancing practices.
- Mandatory staff vaccination.
But all those actions are only possible because of the financial support of the CHNJ community, of which YOU are an essential part. Will you help ensure we continue serving the youth who come to us by donating? We would greatly appreciate your help in the fight against COVID. Keep us here and in the game by donating to us. Thank you.
Associate Executive Director of Programs