Interfaith Ministries continues to serve those most in need in our community as best we can under the circumstances we have all found ourselves in today. 

What we are doing:

Meals on Wheels: All meals are now delivered in to-go boxes which are placed in plastic bags by Stringfellow employees.  Volunteers do not leave their cars but rather line up in the lot and we take the meals to them.  Route books are printed on paper and do not have to be returned to be reused to limit cross contamination from other volunteers. Drivers call meal recipients so they can be met at the door and don’t have to enter the home.   We will not be taking any new clients or doing any home visits for new clients until things normalize.  We are currently serving 80-90 meals a day Monday thru Friday.  We may be in need of drivers in the coming weeks. 

Emergency Assistance: we are continuing to receive referrals and provide crisis assistance.  We are providing assistance with medications, travel needs, and other crisis issues.  Family Services has closed.  

Prescriptions: We are continuing to provide assistance with prescription costs.  We are also continuing to provide SenioRx assistance.  If a total shutdown happens we have established a procedures in coordination with St. Michaels Medical Clinic and with the Pharmacy managers at Martins in Anniston, Walgreen’s on Quintard near the hospital and Publix.  They have all agreed to participate in providing service via an Interfaith plan in the event IFM offices must close due to the current crisis. 

Open Door: We continue to provide showers as long as we are able to be open. When the weather is nice we allow limited numbers of folks in to use the bathroom, get coffee, etc but they have to move back out.  We are not allowing any crowd like activity.  In the rain, we allow them in but tell them to remain six feet apart.  Our large conference room allows for us to let some people in, but not many.  We continue to sanitize many times a day. With the Library closed to the public, there really is no where for the un-housed to go. The soup bowl is still open so they are able to have a hot meal via take out as well.  These people have no where to go while the rest of us are being told to stay home. We sanitize the office before we open, at lunchtime, and will do so again before we close.  All doors are open to minimize touching of door handles, etc.   

What we are NOT doing:

Dental Clinics have been cancelled until further notice.  The ADA has suggested offices to shut down and we are complying. We do not consider rent or utility needs emergencies at the moment because these providers have very lax guidelines in the current crisis state. This cuts down on people leaving their homes which is what we want.   We are not allowing loitering inside the facility for those who have a place to go.  If our clients have a home to go to, we ask them to get what they need and go home. 

What we EXPECT:When this crisis is over, and one day it will be over, we expect a surge in clients needing assistance with rent, utility bills and a whole host of other needs that have been deferred during this impossible time.  We are planning with the City of Anniston, other Non-Profit agencies and community leaders to try and anticipate the post-crisis needs of the community. This is an unprecedented crisis and  we are all trying to find the way best to tackle the challenges to help all of us get back to something resembling normal life. We will say again, Calhoun County is a very generous community.  Residents here truly care about each other and give generously of their time, talents and treasures.  For now, stay safe everyone and be ready when we come through this storm- for that is when the rebuilding will begin.  

Staff: all continue to be present and committed to their work.  We are taking it day by day.  We have cancelled all office volunteers and encouraged them to remain home and practice social distancing.  We continue to have generous supporters-both in kind and financially.  Thank you all for your continual support as we seek to serve those in need.

April LaFollette, MSW, LMSW

Executive Director, Interfaith Ministries