Rescue Mission taking extra precautions amid coronavirus concerns

Coronavirus

ROANOKE, Va (WFXR News) – Staff at Roanoke’s Rescue mission say they are taking extra steps to help keep their guests safe amid coronavirus concerns.

They are sticking to their normal protocol like washing sheets and making sure residents have access to showers. But they’ve also increased their cleaning and gotten portable hand washing stations at the entrances.

The new normal for people coming into the Rescue Mission is to wash their hands before entering the building.

“It just makes me feel like they care about us. It’s not just about the facility, it’s about the people here. They’re trying to make us comfortable as they an and make us feel at ease while we stay here,” said resident Aaron Broyles.

Broyles recently graduated from the rescue missions’ recovery program. He says since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, he’s noticed the extra work put in by the staff.

“They’ve been working extra shifts. Making sure that the floors are clean, everything is wiped off, people that are coming in and out are getting checked and their hands are washed before they come in and out of the building. They’re being real precautionary,” said Broyles.

Rescue Mission staff are screening guests and volunteers for temperatures and other symptoms and making sure they haven’t traveled to any hot spots.

“When I go home at night, there are certain precautions I take at night to keep my family safe and we are home for these people. I mean this is their home. And so they’re not going anywhere else and saying hey I need to make sure that my house is in order. We are their house that has to be in order,” said Sisson.

Rescue Mission Director of Development Becci Sisson says the guest has also been following the rules well and practicing social distancing.

“I have a young daughter and I have friends who want to set up playdates. And I see that there’s this sense of maybe it’s not as scary as we think it. But our guests are taking it very seriously,” said Sisson.

At this time, the rescue mission isn’t taking big outside volunteer groups for everyone’s safety.

“People are on spring break and they’re like, ‘Hey, my kid needs to get some community service.’ That’s not something we can do right now because we want to make sure that our guests that are living here are safe and we’re making sure that they are taken care of.”

Broyles says it’s something all the residents can benefit from, especially those at high risk.

“There’s a lot of older people like vets that stay here so they’re more vulnerable to it and I think that the mission is doing a really good job of keeping it under control.”

Sisson says they’ve had a lot of people asking how they can help. They are looking for paper products like plates, napkins, and silverware.

And they are also looking for healthy individuals who haven’t traveled to hot spots to volunteer just not large groups.

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