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“I think a lot of people got a reprieve and started taking off the masks, started to feel safer doing a lot of things, but in our programs it never really changed from March 2020 until now. Jackson said in Tuesday’s episode. “We are still fully masked in all public spaces and in all interactions with customers. We still have a lot of security protocols around the plexiglass and cleaning, and all of those protocols that we had in place in March are still in place. running today. ”
For Citizens Inn, shelter doesn’t just mean having a roof over your head.
“This is the programming that we are able to provide that can really create stability in the life of the mother, father or child,” Jackson said.
The organization has an enrichment program for children, wellness program, mental health counseling referrals, addiction groups and many more to help their guests.
Jackson revealed that in this recent spate of cases across the country, they had a family they served who had tested positive in one of their shelters, but were able to contain and stop the spread of the virus to other families.
He also said that many people in shelters are not vaccinated and that Citizens Inn is working with the North Shore Medical Center to get these people more information about the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Some of these hesitation issues (about the vaccine) are going to be very difficult to overcome and some of our people are hesitant for legitimate reasons,” Jackson explained. “We have to do everything we can to educate or inform what we know and what healthcare professionals know and hopefully let them make the choice that’s right for them, and hopefully that will be to get the vaccine. ”
Jackson also said demand for the pantry grew exponentially at the start of the pandemic and has yet to decline.
Another consequence of the pandemic for Citizens Inn is that they were unable to host their gala, which Jackson said brought in $ 500,000 for the organization. The organization plans to host the event on March 11, 2022, which will be the first time it can host it in two and a half years.
The organization will also launch a new campaign on October 16. The event will be held outdoors in the newly renovated Haven from Hunger. Jackson said they also hope to take those attending the event on short tours of the new building.
Although Jackson did not reveal all the details of the campaign, he explained that the organization had been quietly working on the project for four years and that the goal was to raise $ 7.5 million. The funds will go towards the renovation of Haven From Hunger, a shelter at 29 Holton St, the IB Playground, as well as ongoing programming at Haven from Hunger and other shelter programs.
“In order to continue to provide additional support to this resource center, we need to make sure we expand our donor base,” Jackson said. “That we are generating more revenue each year to maintain this operation, this new operating budget, and therefore a high priority of the campaign is to increase the donor base to support the new Haven programming.”
Jackson also announced that the organization has two new kitchen bays, one of which can be rented, which will add an additional source of income to the organization.