Quincy YMCA to provide extra space, support to most vulnerable during COVID-19 crisis
City of Quincy, South Shore YMCA, and Father Bill’s & MainSpring collaborate to provide emergency shelter to elders and at-risk individuals experiencing homelessness
[QUINCY, Mass., March 31, 2020] South Shore YMCA, the City of Quincy, and Father Bill’s & MainSpring (FBMS) have partnered to create a temporary emergency shelter that will support some of the area’s most vulnerable individuals during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Starting on Wednesday, April 1, the South Shore YMCA Quincy Branch on Coddington Street will open up its gymnasium to approximately 50 individuals currently staying at Father Bill’s Place, the emergency shelter operated by FBMS at 38 Broad Street. The temporary shelter will provide beds, meals, and supportive services to elders and individuals with underlying health conditions, who are among the most vulnerable to the coronavirus.
The City of Quincy’s Office of Emergency Management, at the direction of Mayor Thomas Koch, has provided the cots and logistical support needed to operate an emergency shelter. The City, South Shore YMCA and FBMS are working together to provide support staff and to ensure site security.
By opening up a secondary shelter, guests and staff at Father Bill’s Place will be able to practice the social distancing guidelines recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, working with the Y, Father Bill’s Place will have the relief necessary to create potential quarantine areas in other locations within Quincy, which would better protect guests and staff from exposure to COVID-19.
In recent weeks, Father Bill’s Place has been providing shelter to more than 120 individuals per night.
“We’re grateful to Paul Gorman, the team at the South Shore YMCA, Mayor Thomas Koch, and the City of Quincy for stepping up and providing the leadership and resources needed to support our neighbors in need during these unprecedented times,” said FBMS President & CEO John Yazwinski. “Based on our communications with shelter providers on the West Coast, including those most impacted by the coronavirus in Washington state, we’ve determined that the best course of action right now is to depopulate our shelters, creating more physical space for individuals who don’t have their own home. This temporary shelter in Quincy goes a long way in protecting our most vulnerable guests during this crisis.”
“We made one phone call to South Shore YMCA President Paul Gorman to explore this idea, and his response was immediate: ‘What do you need and when do you need it?’” said Quincy Mayor Tom Koch. “I am extraordinarily grateful for the SSYMCA’s partnership on this important effort to protect some of the most vulnerable members of our community; the hard, fast work of the team at Father Bill’s to make it happen; and the leadership of Joe Finn and the Massachusetts Shelter and Housing Alliance for bringing all the parties together.”
“The YMCA has been a part of the Quincy community for more than 125 years,” said South Shore YMCA President & CEO Paul Gorman. “We have always had a strong relationship with the City and the Mayor’s office and are happy to support the community in any way we can. We pour our hearts into our social services work, which is at the core of our mission. We are proud and honored to work alongside the City and Father Bill’s Place in this time of need.”
FBMS has been working with Boston Health Care for the Homeless, which operates a health care clinic inside Father Bill’s Place, and Manet Community Health Center in order to implement health and safety measures that better protect guests and staff during this pandemic.
Several weeks ago, FBMS began implementing precautionary measures at Father Bill’s Place to better protect guests and staff, including a more thorough screening process for guests entering the shelter. The screening, conducted by staff and medical personnel, helps identify guests who are exhibiting symptoms similar to those of COVID-19. Guests displaying symptoms are directed to a health care provider for further screening.
All guests staying at the South Shore YMCA Quincy will have undergone the screening process at Father Bill’s Place and displayed no COVID-19 symptoms.
In addition, FBMS purchased additional handwashing stations and invested in cleaning services to help limit exposure to COVID-19. For more information, visit helpfbms.org/coronavirus.
About Father Bill’s & MainSpring
Father Bill’s & MainSpring (FBMS) is the leading provider of services to prevent and end homelessness in Southern Massachusetts. The agency, founded in the early 1980s by a group of interfaith and community leaders, helps nearly 6,000 people annually who find themselves homeless, or at risk of homelessness, achieve more self-sufficiency through a range of services including homelessness prevention, emergency shelter, employment programs, and permanent supportive housing, FBMS, a proud partner of the United Way of Greater Plymouth County and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency with administrative offices in Quincy and Brockton and program offices across the South Shore. For more information, visit www.helpfbms.org.
About the South Shore YMCA
The South Shore YMCA is a leading charitable organization dedicated to strengthening community. Since 1892, the Y has served communities across the South Shore of Massachusetts and beyond, engaging over 60,000 adults, children, families and seniors each day through membership, critical social services, and programs that support a healthy spirit, mind and body. The Y empowers everyone by ensuring access to resources, relationships and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. By bringing together people from all backgrounds, the Y’s goal is to improve overall health and well-being, ignite youth empowerment and demonstrate the importance of connections throughout our community. To learn more about the South Shore YMCA and our causes, visit ssymca.org. The Better You Belongs Here.