Last updated 3/30/2020
To our friends, volunteers, supporters and staff,
With the many challenges facing how we can continue to serve our neighbors in need while still adhering to the ever-changing guidelines/restrictions in place to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus, St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County will be doing the following:
Due to the Order of the Health Officer of the County of Contra Costa issued on March 16, 2020, and State mandate to close non-essential businesses, our three thrift stores will be closed indefinitely. We will not, unfortunately, be able to distribute clothing to the homeless nor honor any vouchers issued by our conferences/branches until after the order to shelter in place has been lifted.
We will continue our emergency food pantry at our Family Resource Center in Pittsburg and will be as flexible with our practices for helping those in need while keeping the pantry sustainable. We will continue to have snack packs and toiletries available for our homeless neighbors.
In regard to food distribution at our 20 other food pantries operated by our local conferences, many have been able to adjust their distribution practices to be able to adhere to mandated restrictions while still serving free food to our neighbors in need.
Our Rotacare Free Medical Clinic at St. Vincent de Paul will temporarily suspend seeing patients in person for at least two weeks. Arrangements are being considered to provide phone consultations and prescription refills to our patients while minimizing exposure to our volunteer teams of medical professionals and other patients.
Our free dining room in Pittsburg, operated by Loaves and Fishes, is distributing lunchtime meals in a “to go” fashion starting today, keeping in mind safe social distancing while distributing this much-needed service to our community.
Finally, our conferences/branches and cadre of 750 dedicated volunteers are all looking at how they can adapt their customary ways of helping our neighbors in need with keeping everyone’s health and well-being in mind. Some may be doing Face Time home visits, others by phone. We know that those we serve may feel more impact from the closing of schools, self-isolation and modification of hours/closures at support service providers. We remain committed to doing our best to live out our mission and help our neighbors in need with dignity and compassion.
In the words of our founder, Blessed Fredric Ozanam, “Let us do without hesitation whatever good lies at our hands.”
Claudia L. Ramirez
For additional information on the Coronavirus in Contra Costa County, please follow this link.