Like many other organizations that serve and interact with the public, Greater Birmingham Ministries is operating on a reduced schedule until further notice with an interim review of conditions on April 15.
In making our decisions, GBM had to weigh several factors as to which aspects of our programs to continue through this public health crisis, even if on a limited basis.
Our decision is to continue our food pantry on Friday mornings, with some changes, including using social distancing in our waiting rooms. The reason for this decision is that workers in businesses that have closed or have reduced services – daycare, restaurants, hospitality – will be among the hardest hit in the foreseeable future.
Our community organizing will also be affected as we will concentrate more on social media and phone-banking to urge a complete count in the 2020 Census.
All staff will be provided with gloves and sanitizers and instructed in the very important frequency of use.
Staff who can telecommute from home are strongly encouraged to do so. Our main phone line is being forwarded to the receptionist who is able to answer calls remotely. Other staff are monitoring messages left on their office phones.
We will maintain a staff complement of fewer than 10 staff or board in the building at any one time.
Critical times deserve critical measures. When it comes to public health, we will continue to explore how to remain both healthful and hopeful in a time of risk for those we serve, and for us all.