FOR OUR COMMUNITY

COVID-19 will impact our communities for a long time but together as a fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve we will continue to face uncertainty with hope. Thank you for your prayers and support during these times. Scroll for recent news, resources, and updates from all of our centers and programs.

RECENT NEWS:

COVID-19 FOCUS Center & Program Updates & Needs:

Dear Friends,

Christ is in our midst! Praying that you are healthy and safe during this challenging time. We hope to offer you support and resources as we navigate the effects of COVID-19 on our communities.

We will be offering opportunities to gather together online, along with supporting you in your efforts to care for your loved ones and your own city. Please email us at JavaScript required to view address if you have questions or need support. We love you and want to know what you’re experiencing at this time.

Praying that you find peace through prayer, serving others, and seeking God and His will.

With love in Christ,

Katrina Bitar, YES Program Director

Updates from Center Director

Cuyahoga County Board of Health Updates

CDC four steps to food safety

USDA basics for handling food safely

USDA 10 tips: be food safe

Thanks to the support of dozens of volunteer groups, we’ve served over 7,000 meals since mid-March! We thank you!

We are in need of groups to provide meals in May! We are asking groups to prepare 70 meals at lunch and 90 meals for dinner. If you would like to help, please contact Santhe at 216-232-6003 or Albert at 216-961-3806, or email us at JavaScript required to view address. We’re coordinating all of the donations of food to ensure that every day is covered and that we don’t have too much or too little on a certain day. Please call us before purchasing/preparing food so that we can put you on the schedule! 

Contents in a bagged meal: a meat and cheese sandwich, a piece of fruit, a bag of chips or a granola bar, a bottle of water and a napkin. Place all items in a paper bag and write the type of sandwich on the outside of the paper bag. (Some of our guests don’t eat pork, so it helps to know the contents of the sandwich.) Groups can also donate warm meals, but they need to be packaged and ready to serve when they are delivered.

Your financial support is also greatly appreciated & needed at this time. You can make a donation online by clicking the blue Donate button in the upper right hand corner. We thank you! 

We continue to serve as we strive to meet our mission. These days, most everything happens at the FOCUS Minnesota front door. Though we are unable to invite people into the Center, we do our best to welcome them as we offer some help.

No more than 2 guests are allowed into the Center at a time, and volunteer numbers are between 3 and 7 keeping within the 10 or less guideline from the Minnesota Department of Health.  Volunteers wear gloves, masks (when appropriate) and use hand sanitizer. The exception to our food ministry is when we receive an emergency request for some items from the Clothes Closet; those individuals come by appointment, and only one person at a time.

LUNCH BAGS HANDED OUT ON RICE STREET DOOR: Mondays and Thursdays, 11:30am-12:30pm. Lunch is shelf-stable food for a portable meal on the streets. There are no handmade sandwiches at this time.

FOOD SHELF DISTRIBUTION: 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month, 10:00-11:30am. We also respond to emergency food requests and have grocery bags pre-packed and ready.

FREE TAKEOUT SUNDAY MEALS: Sundays, 5-7pm. Meals are packaged and delivered to clients at our Rice Street door. If your parish or family is scheduled to provide a Sunday night meal, Vera will work directly with your hospitality team to provide the most current information regarding this ministry

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To help ensure the continued health and safety of our guests, volunteers, and community, the following tiers will guide our program delivery during the outbreak. We are currently operating at TIER 2.

TIER 1: Regular sanitation of ministry areas. Volunteers wash hands before and after shifts and wear gloves while serving, in any capacity. All guests wash hands and/or use hand sanitizer upon entry of the building. If guests decline, they will be required to use gloves. We may modify the number of people we serve at a single time to decrease congregating in confined spaces. Weekly sandwich making and weekly general volunteer shifts will continue until further notice. 

TIER 2: Further reduce congregation of groups by temporarily suspending regular food delivery services (Sunday Meals and Food Shelf,) and instead packing takeaway meals and pre-filled grocery bags, delivering to guests at the door. (This is our current tier status.)

TIER 3: Complete suspension of services in the case of a worsening health crisis in Minnesota. Regular activities will then resume when it is advised by the state and local health authorities.

Last Update 4/27/20

Letter from Center Director

For more information regarding COVID Response and FOCUS Programs in Detroit, email Adam Murphy at JavaScript required to view address.
 

Last Update 5/11/20

Through partnerships with Orange County Food Bank and Power of One Foundation, FOCUS Orange County is coordinating volunteer opportunities to help provide food to people in need due to effects of COVID-19 and it’s response.

Last Update 5/11/20

  • Wednesday night dinners at God’s Extended Hand are being allowed by the city and county to continue, with some adjustments to minimize the potential spreading of the virus. The city and county really want/need organizations that are feeding and sheltering the homeless and poor to continue doing so! We have been told to limit the number of people we admit into the dining room/sanctuary to 40, instead of up to 120 as we usually do. This will allow us to follow the social distancing mandate as much as possible by having the guests sit farther apart. All guests beyond the forty are to be given their meals in take-out clam shell containers, to eat on their own. Of course, volunteers are reminded to wash their hands frequently, use gloves for food handling, avoid shaking hands & touching their faces, and keep the 6 foot distance between people as much as possible.   
  • San Diego Health Department Updates

Last Update 3/13/20