From WNIJ reporter Yvonne Boose:
lllinois residents are encouraged to stay at home because of COVID-19, but it’s hard to stay home when you don’t have a place to live. This is forcing some people to put their safety into the hands of others.
Carpenter’s Place in Rockford is a daytime outreach center for those without housing.
Executive Director Kay Larrick said the organization is taking direction from the government to make sure it’s protecting its guests.
“We have no volunteers on site. And we’ve reduced down to really a skeleton crew for our staff. Others are working from home,” she said.
Larrick said the staff is taking temperatures and they’ve also reduced the number of guests from being there at the same time.
“With a few people, they come and they go so we can serve a few others. So now we can have maybe 50 for lunch whereas before it would be common to have more like 70,” she said.
Larrick said the guests are thankful that Carpenter’s Place is still open because some other shelters are not.
“Our guests, every day they express how grateful they are that we’re still here and we’re open,” she said. “Because, you know, a lot of places where they might typically go, aren’t open at this time.”
She pointed out that they would normally go to places like the library or even McDonald’s to sit for coffee. Those aren’t options anymore.
Larrick shared that she appreciates that people have sent in financial donations.
“They understand that at this time, we’re operating, you know, kind of in a crisis mode and need a few things here and there,” she said.
She said the nonprofit will continue to do all that it can to protect everyone who uses its services. Carpenter’s Place is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.