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COVID-19 accommodations made for the Twin City Mission shelter

Twin City Mission helps those in the Brazos valley feel safe while seeking shelter.
Posted at 10:13 AM, Sep 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 11:13:27-04

BRYAN, TX — Providing shelter for those without is one of the most basic needs people have.

The Twin City Mission has been offering people in the Brazos Valley the help they need to seek shelter in a compassion and respectful manner.

When the pandemic started to impact society, the Twin City Mission had to make some changes in how they operate…all while still supporting and helping those seeking shelter.

”The first thing that we stopped was all volunteer activity and all outside traffic into the property,” said Jennifer Young program director of homeless and housing.

Last year, the Twin city Mission provided thousands with the chance to sleep under a roof for one night.

Now that facial coverings are mandated, things are looking different.

”We started with the masks right away and we made it a requirement for everybody staying here had to wear a mask we also restricted a lot of the resident movement,” said Jennifer Young.

With the organizations understanding that many of their clients may have a compromised immune system, they implemented other changes too.

”We spaced out our bunks and we also started strategically placing our clients in those bunks,” said Jennifer Young.

Johnnie Harris, a former resident at the mission, knows that safety is always on the minds of shelter staff.

”Being there is a very safe environment,” said Johnnie Harris.

Even with the upgrades made due to the pandemic, the shelter has seen traditionally low numbers in capacity and Jennifer Young, the shelter’s Programs Director of Housing, has a few theories as to why occupancy is down.

”With the threat of the pandemic, I think there has maybe been some fear to come into shelters,” said Jennifer Young.

But as time goes on and the pandemic’s grip on society tightens…the future for many is uncertain.

”Going into the future and this is kind of what we're preparing for now is that we may see a lot of first time homeless,” said Jennifer Young.

The Texas Department Housing and Community Affairs CARES Act is providing Funding to Twin City Mission for a homeless prevention program and more rapid re-housing.