Preventing the worst-case scenario for people experiencing homelessness

We are overwhelmed by your generosity and responsiveness. It’s been over a month since we began this new reality of responding to the COVID-19 crisis. We know more than we did just weeks ago – this gives us confidence and hope. But the mental and physical weight of the situation is heavier by the day, as I know it is for all of you and your families.
Thank you for reading and sharing this update – there is a lot happening this week!

Watch: Live Report from Our Distribution Center

Last Tuesday, my colleagues provided a real-time report from our Distribution Center, where volunteers and staff spend thousands of hours making and packing meals, sorting critical donations of hygiene supplies, homemade face coverings and so much more. Having the capacity to receive large donations and distribute them efficiently to the exact locations that need them most is crucial to keep clients, staff and volunteers safe.

If you don’t already, I invite you to follow Catholic Charities on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We are posting daily from our shelter and warehouse sites, videos from our incredible staff, volunteers and partners. This is the best way to find out about our most urgent needs – and for a daily dose of inspiration. For example, the incredible response to our urgent call for face coverings last week!

Preventing a COVID-19 Outbreak in Emergency Shelters

Some of you may have seen the reports from cities across the country about distressing outbreaks of COVID-19 among the homeless in emergency shelters. As we speak, we are working with Hennepin and Ramsey counties and other partners across the state to prevent the worst-case scenario from happening in Minnesota. We hope this will include moving more vulnerable individuals into hotels and creating much more space for physical distancing inside our shelters and in daytime service locations. This will take significant financial resources and collaboration. We will post updates in the coming days on our social media channels.

Good News and Ringing the Bell!

At Catholic Charities, whenever an extraordinary donation or act of community support happens, we quite literally “ring the bell” to celebrate – a huge iron bell affixed to the wall in our administrative office building. I’m happy to report the (virtual) bell has received quite a workout these past several weeks thanks to all of you! Here are a few from this week:

Burnett County Dairy Co-op delivered 25,000 pounds of cheese to our Distribution Center this week – this will help us feed many guests and residents!

Last Sunday, volunteers including Archbishop Hebda came – as they always do – to serve the Easter meal at Dorothy Day Place. It was a reminder that, in the midst of so much change and uncertainty, the support of this community truly is a constant.

Thank you for your continued partnership and encouragement!


Tim Marx

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