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"A Message of Hope" written by Karen Gregory

"A Message of Hope" written by Karen Gregory

Below is a message of hope written by Karen Gregory, Executive Director for Shelters of Saratoga 


"On behalf of Shelters of Saratoga, we hope this message finds you, your family, and your friends safe and well.  As the COVID-19 poses unprecedented personal and life challenges, we want you to know that SOS is committed to our ongoing work in support of the most vulnerable members of our community. 


As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, the challenges faced have only gotten more extreme. Shelters are limited in their abilities to adhere to the CDC guidelines and people living outside have no access to toilets, much less toilet paper. Many have been laid off and there is no one on the street so they cannot even panhandle.  Common places to find shelter and a bathroom like the library, gyms, fast food restaurants are closed.   


Homelessness is incompatible with health.  Unhoused people are already among the most sick in society and now they are physically incapable of following CDC's most basic virus-fighting directive - to stay at home. The conditions of homelessness would leave a healthy person vulnerable to catching the Coronavirus, and unhoused people tend not to be healthy.  


To improve social distancing at our shelters, we stopped receiving new residents and we moved shelter guests from Walworth Street and our Emergency Winter Shelter into the Holiday Inn on Broadway.  I am thrilled that the City of Saratoga Springs partnered early on to get ahead of this pandemic.  The spread of this virus was totally preventable and predictable and joining forces with the City proved this. 


As you look across our Country, the focus has been waiting until after people get sick.  That's proven not to work - once you wait until after, it's too late.  


We have no control over this virus, and I can only hope and pray that we don't lose another member of the Saratoga Community or any other for that matter. I am so grateful to share that we have still not yet had one person present with symptoms or test positively for COVID-19. Looking around our Country, most communities cannot say that.  I can only pray that this trajectory continues in the same direction. 


 Saratoga is a very special place - it is filled with people who truly care about each other and for the most vulnerable.  SOS could not fulfill their mission without this community. We are indebted to you Saratoga - your support is saving lives!   Thank you." 


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