Despite business closures and a borough-wide hunker-down mandate, social service organizations like the Salvation Army and Kodiak Women’s Resource and Crisis Center are continuing to serve the community, while taking precautions to minimize the risk of spreading the coronavirus.
“It’s affected us quite a bit,” said Rebecca Shields, executive director at KWRCC. “We are still providing all of our core services. So we’re doing everything that we normally do, but we’re having to do it with a lot more thought.”
Shields said the 25-bed shelter is still offering all of its core services, providing support and a safe place to stay for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. At the same time, she said they’re also taking precautions like screening new residents for flu symptoms, housing clients in separate rooms and reducing the number of staff on each shift.
Unfortunately, said Shields, the hunker-down mandate does have the potential to exacerbate abusive domestic situations. And although all of KWRCC’s clients and staff appear healthy now, she’s concerned about caring for people who do have symptoms and need a place to stay.
“We are currently working to find ways that we can provide that safely. We don’t have the setup in our shelter to be able to do that in shelter without placing everybody at risk,” she said. “We’re in conversations with the city to see how we could do that,” adding that she is concerned about the risk Kodiak’s homeless population is at.
Meanwhile, the Salvation Army’s food bank is still open on Tuesdays and Fridays, 3 to 5 p.m. Working with other support organizations in town, they’ve set up a phone-in support system for Kodiak residents who may need more assistance during this time.
“We have the resources,” said Major Dave Davis from the Salvation Army. “We just need to tap them, organize them and distribute.” Davis added that they’ve helped set up a community support system to “help us communicate with everybody. Make sure that everybody gets some kind of help.”
The community support program can help arrange for volunteers to help with picking up prescriptions, doing groceries, doing laundry and more. To get help or to volunteer your time, you can call 1-888-490-7907.
Shields and Davis were guests on our Wednesday edition of The Lowdown. To suggest a guest or submit questions for our guests, call (907) 486-3181 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.