UPDATES ON HABITAT CHICAGO'S RESPONSE TO COVID-19
Just one week has gone by since our last update, but it feels like a whole lifetime of change. I hope that each of you and your families are well and taking extra precautions to stay healthy. I’m writing to provide updates on where Habitat Chicago stands given the statewide shelter in place order made effective on Saturday, 03/21/20:
Our ReStore, Build Sites, and Office will be closed to the general public through 04/07/20.
All three locations will remain closed to the general public through 04/07/20. We will continue to assess closures based on government direction as we continue compliance with the shelter in place order. The statewide stay-at-home order allows construction to continue. Our construction team will continue working with additional safety measures and social distancing in place.
All in-person classes and meetings through 04/07/20 have been postponed.
In-person classes and meetings for our Affordable Homeownership Program, Neighborhood Grants Initiative, Home Care Workshop Series, Homebuyer University, and Operational Volunteer Committees scheduled through 04/07/20 have been postponed or moved to a virtual meeting, where possible. Participants for each will be directly notified of these changes.
Our annual Benefit Breakfast has been rescheduled.
After coordinating with our venue and our speakers, we have moved the Benefit Breakfast from Thursday, 04/30/20, to Thursday, 06/11/20. All sponsors, Table Hosts, and registered guests will be notified of the change directly.
Please continue to take care of yourself and our shared community.
Last week, Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, shared these words from a poem that I found inspiring for this challenging time:
“May those of us who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake. May we who have no risk factors remember the most vulnerable. May we who settle in for quarantine at home remember those who have no home. As fear grips our country, let us choose love.”
Please continue to take care of yourself, your family, and our shared community. If you are able, please consider a donation to help us emerge strong in our mission of providing more Chicago families with safe and healthy places to call home.
Jennifer L. Parks
Executive Director, Habitat Chicago
I am writing to provide an update on the measures Habitat for Humanity Chicago is taking to protect the people we serve, our staff, and volunteers during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Here at Habitat Chicago, we share everyone’s concern about keeping our families and neighbors safe and are reminded how vital a decent home is for one's health and safety. Following guidance and directives from our local, state, and national leaders, we are doing our part to prevent the spread of the virus.
Our office is temporarily closed.
Effective immediately, our office is closed until March 28. We will assess weekly to determine if there is a need to extend the closure. Our Leadership Team has enacted an Emergency Response Plan that includes a remote work policy for office staff and requires social distancing for our construction and ReStore teams.
Our construction sites are temporarily closed to volunteers.
We expect this closure to be effective through April 18. Our team is working with individuals, corporate teams, and community groups to postpone previously confirmed volunteer dates and reschedule when possible.
ReStore Chicago is temporarily closed to the public.
We are temporarily closing ReStore until March 28. We will not be utilizing volunteers at this time. We are not accepting donations onsite until further notice. We will continue to screen donations online; please follow this link to submit a request. Our ReStore team is currently contacting customers and donors who have previously arranged commitments.
Special events and in-person meetings are being rescheduled.
In accordance with city, state, and federal directives, we are postponing all in-person gatherings and events dependent on the size and date of the gathering. This includes committee meetings, Homebuyer University classes, and our annual Benefit Breakfast fundraiser. When possible, we will shift to virtual meetings. In some cases, we will reschedule for future dates. All registered participants and attendees will be directly notified.
We are managing the best we can.
We are, however, concerned about how this unprecedented pandemic will continue or escalate. The impact these measures will have on our ability to critically serve the community is unknown. What we do know is that the need for safe, healthy, and stable housing is glaringly evident at this time of uncertainty. That said, please know that our board, volunteers, staff, and most importantly, the hardworking families we serve deeply appreciate your support. Because of you, there are families in Chicago who are settling into their Habitat homes with comfort and security.
For now, you cannot build with hammers and nails, but you can keep us building with a financial contribution. If you are able, please consider a donation to sustain our work of bringing people together to build strength, stability, and self-reliance for our neighbors in need.
Let’s continue to take care of one another.
Jennifer L. Parks
Executive Director, Habitat Chicago