We reach out to you today to inform you of Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry’s (LMM) expanded efforts to serve vulnerable populations during this COVID-19 pandemic. LMM, operator of the Men’s Shelter at 2100 Lakeside, has taken a proactive and coordinated approach to protect those who are homeless, as well as the broader community, during this public health emergency.
To mitigate community spread, LMM has worked with a number of partners including the Cuyahoga County Office of Homeless Services, MetroHealth, YWCA (Norma Herr Women’s Center operator), and the homeless Continuum of Care to implement a plan that would reduce the likelihood of a COVID-19 outbreak in an emergency shelter. As a team, we have coordinated with several hotels, including two in downtown Cleveland, who have graciously stepped up so that we may move a portion of LMM’s shelter residents out of the congregant living settings and better allow for social distancing.
The most vulnerable residents of the shelters with known risk factors, including those who are over the age of 65 or who have preexisting health conditions, are the residents who have been prioritized to be transitioned to hotels. MetroHealth has been a vital partner in supporting our efforts to identify and transition those most vulnerable. In addition, residents with no risk factors or symptoms also have been moved to hotels to achieve the social distancing goals for our large shelter. At this time, the numbers of persons who are most at risk represent a small number of all of persons housed at hotels.
The safety of our residents and the community is why we have taken these precautions to reduce shelter census and provide additional health screenings. We believe these efforts have contributed to “flattening the curve”. At this time, no known COVID-19 positive patients are staying in downtown hotels.
It is our hope that the Greater Cleveland community will understand the challenging situation that our organizations face, and be patient with ongoing efforts to ensure the health and safety of our neighbors experiencing homelessness. This will ultimately ensure the health and safety of our region as a whole.
Please reach out Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry at 216.658.8422 if you have comments or questions.
Additional Resources for Persons Experiencing Homelessness:
Cuyahoga County Office of Homeless Services: 216.420.6844
Coordinated Intake (Frontline Services): 216.674.6700
United Way First Call for Help: 2-1-1
LMM Acting CEO & COO