Beyond all else, the health and safety of our residents is our top priority. Since 1984, we have cared for over 3,000 boys in an environment that stresses order, cleanliness, structure and compassion. During the crisis currently facing everyone on the planet, where a new and dangerous virus is threatening not only lives, but our very way of life, we are making every effort possible to do our part to defeat this threat.
As you know, with our location and security structure, we are in a unique position to limit access to our campus and to isolate within reason our staff and residents from exposure to this virus. As has been noted, the young and healthy are not the primary risk group when it comes to this particular virus strain. Yet we recognize that every one of us holds a responsibility to do all that is within our power to remain healthy and infection-free as to not contribute to the spread.
Here are the steps we are taking to mitigate our risk and the risk to the greater population:
- We are instituting an even more rigorous cleaning and sanitizing protocol within the boy’s residences, school room, office and staff residences consistent with CDC guidelines.
- We are instructing the staff and residents to wash their hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds, and with a disinfecting handwash.
- We will severely limit outside activities for residents and staff until the risk is minimized.
- We are immediately imposing a strict visitor policy, limiting those who enter our property to those who have specific business here on our campus and those who reside here until further notice.
- We are redirecting deliveries to eliminate face-to-face contacts with delivery drivers.
- Until further notice, we are limiting new resident intakes to those who are in distress in their current environment, who come by car only, and who are clear of Covid-19 symptoms.
- We are teaching and requiring proper hygiene for our staff, residents and staff families.
- We will seek to protect the most vulnerable among our staff and residents by limiting their outside exposures.
- We’ve advised our staff to follow the public health authorities’ guidance regarding personal travel, and are requiring any staff who exhibit respiratory or flu-like symptoms to stay home and consult with a medical professional.
- We’ve limited business travel for staff and will be leveraging technology to hold meetings whenever possible.
- Air filters are being changed bi-weekly to maintain clean, healthy air in our residences, educational building and administrative office.
- We are taking steps to replace outside events and opportunities with more structured games, activities and recreation on campus.
- We will quickly isolate anyone who displays the documented early symptoms of Coronavirus, report these situations promptly, and do all we can to see they receive all necessary medical care.
- We will stay positive, realistic and well-informed.
- We will adhere to any and all directives received by The State of Texas Department of Human Resources (to-date we have only been informed that they will soon be issuing instructions, but have so far not received them. Hence, we are taking these actions on our own until we receive anything more.)
- We will keep the parents of our residents informed of the situation here at Youth-Reach Houston as the situation develops.
We are fully committed to all of the above measures, plus we have stocked our pantries and freezers with enough provisions to last several weeks without having to replenish. Our staff have been fully advised of these procedures and we will remain flexible as the unknown becomes known.
We are aware that many of our supporters are going to be facing their own financial stresses during this season. We are also limiting our spending to steward our resources as wisely as we possibly can. Yet, I must ask that if you can continue your regular giving, please do so. And if you do not regularly support our work, but can afford to do so, we will need that provision and will be deeply grateful.
Above all else, please keep Youth-Reach in your prayers as we seek to weather another storm in our history. Thank you for your love and support….Together we can all come out of this blessed, healthy and stronger than before.
9 The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
~ Psalm 9:9-10