December 03, 2020

Update on donation of clothing or other gift-in-kind items

Recently we’ve received questions as to why we’re not accepting donations of clothing or other gift-in-kind items. Unfortunately, these donations can’t be accepted under present circumstances due to the ongoing pandemic.  Our current protocols are based on many sources to keep our shelter guests and vulnerable community members, employees, volunteers and partners as safe as possible while we continue to deliver desperately needed services to our shelter guests and vulnerable community members who rely upon us.

During the pandemic, we’ve accepted some donations on a very selective basis such as PPE and food items, always applying guidelines on a case-by-case basis to ensure safety. For example, we are able to accept donations of clothing and other items if they arrive directly from the manufacturer in boxes that are unopened. Regarding returning to accepting donations as we did before the pandemic, unfortunately we currently don’t have the capacity in terms of space, time or staff to do so since daily operations within Covid19 protocols consume these resources.

We have to continue to operate under Covid19 protocols for as long as the current pandemic as current infection rates have surged during this second wave and people who are homeless (including our shelter guests) often have serious health conditions that placed them at greater risk of Covid19. Under these protocols, all staff colleagues wear PPE (masks), and frontline and clinician staff colleagues wear full PPE (masks, gloves, gowns, and googles or face-shields).

We appreciate the concern of our supporters for vulnerable community members who turn to us for help regarding how they will remain warm and well cared for this winter if we can’t accept your generous offerings. Fortunately, because of the generosity of our community, our clothing room was well stocked prior to the pandemic and we’ve been able to use our existing inventory of clothes to meet the needs of our shelter guests for warm clothing during the pandemic. In rare instances, we’ve purchased selective clothing items such as winter coats or boots if our inventory was low on these items (as we’ve done in past years).

We’ve always been very grateful for the generosity of our community and hope that with the approval and widespread dissemination of a vaccine in the new year that we’ll be able to return to accepting gift-in-kind donations to help those who rely upon us. We’ll let the community know when we’re able to return to accepting these donations.

Thank you again for thinking of us and we appreciate your understanding.