St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore (SVDP)
(BALTIMORE, MD) – St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore (SVDP) announced today that, working in partnership with the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services, it has relocated all 135 men from SVDP’s men’s shelter located in East Baltimore. This move will allow SVDP to better protect the men from the potential spread of the COVID- 19 virus. The current shelter facility, located on Monument Street in East Baltimore, is not adequate to maintain recommended safe social distancing guidelines for 135 residents.
Most shelter residents have been relocated to the former Dr. Roland N. Patterson Sr. Academy public school building, located at 4701 Greenspring Avenue in Northwest Baltimore, which most recently was occupied by the Kipp Ujima Academy until it closed in 2019. A portion of the school has been outfitted to accommodate up to 153 men.
Residents of the Monument Street shelter who were identified by the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services as medically fragile have been relocated to special accommodations with private rooms at a hotel site secured by Baltimore City. In addition, residents with mobility restrictions have been moved to the Weinberg Housing Resource Center. In addition, other men from the City’s overflow shelter for men have been moved to the Greenspring site.
“Our foremost concern is that we maintain a safe environment for both our residents and staff, and we are doing everything in our power to protect them from the virus” said Dr. Toni Boulware, Sr. Director of Homeless Services for SVDP. “This move is an improvement in both the amount, and quality, of the space for our residents.”
MOHS has moved swiftly in recent weeks to identify, secure, and ready the Greenspring facility for the men. It notified SVDP last Thursday of the plan, and SVDP immediately mobilized so that all operations could be moved within four days. “It was a huge challenge to pull this off in such a short time,” said Dr. Boulware. “But we realized the benefits of this new location for the men, and SVDP staff from across the organization did a great job in pulling together to rapidly move the entire shelter operation, including doing new intakes on every resident. They were amazing!”
SVDP has been performing daily health screenings on all its shelter residents, and this practice will continue at the Greenspring Shelter location. Men who are identified as having possible COVID-19 symptoms are isolated and taken to alternative living arrangements so they may self-quarantine.
“We are so grateful that the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services has been proactive in securing this site and getting it ready,” said Mary Rode, COO for SVDP. “Making this move happen so quickly is a testament to our close collaborative relationship with the City, and our mutual, strong interest in doing what is best for the men in our care.”
In addition to the Greenspring Shelter for men, SVDP operates the Sarah’s Hope family shelter in West Baltimore, the Hannah More family shelter in Reisterstown, and Innterim House family shelter in Pikesville. All SVDP shelter operations have been deemed essential and maintained on-site services during the COVID-19 virus pandemic. SVDP has expanded its meal distribution at its Beans and Bread Homeless Day Resource Center, and its KidzTable social enterprise is supplying meals to both shelter sites and community sites serving youth and families throughout Baltimore City and Baltimore County. SVDP’s housing and employment services have also continued with staff working with clients remotely.
SVDP is in need seeking donations of cash, individually packaged snacks, masks and supplies to keep up with the increased demands of maintaining exceptional care in our shelters. For more information, visit www.vincentbaltimore.org.
About St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore
St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore is a leading provider of community services to people suffering from the effects of hunger, homelessness, and poverty in the Baltimore region. The organization helps thousands of people with resources to help them move beyond the challenges of poverty and achieve their full potential.