Team,

I just want to encourage you today, we are just off the phone with one of the top LA County Department of Health Doctors, she said she has never seen a group wage a better battle against a Pandemic like this and she needs to do a write up.

Let me paraphrase in my own words; never has a non-medical group like us, with guidance and assistance from the Department of Public Health Services, and Department of Public Health, transformed into a mini hospital and waged a better chess match against this Covid-19 Monster.

Imagine this; Covid-19 attacked the Navy’s Mercy Ship, with 1000 beds, similar size to URM, off the Coast of Long Beach, after it came to assist non Covid-19 Cases, and because of Covid-19 cases on board, they had to quickly downsize and abandon their initial mission and send medical staff out to assist area nursing homes, greatly impacted by Covid-19.

A local Federal Prison, with 1000 beds, has regretfully, had more than 600 Positive Cases.

Even one case is far too many, and each positive case is a spear to our soul, and any loss of life breaks our hearts and has hit us like a ton of bricks, yet Union Rescue Mission, with the help of the Department of Public Health, and the Department of Pubic Health Services, and LAHSA, and others, has kept our cases to 10% of our original 1000 precious people under roof. Nearly 75% of that 10%, or 75 precious people, had no symptoms.

I shared this with the County this week,

“We have been playing chess with this Genius Monster Covid-19, and we would have had no chance of making it through without our partners. Thanks to LAHSA, Department of Public Health, Department of Health Services and our City of Los Angeles, for responding to our cry for help and stepping up to assist Union Rescue Mission by decompressing URM downtown,” said Rev. Andy Bales, CEO of Union Rescue Mission. “You helped us get our most vulnerable guests out of Harm’s Way, when this uninvited unseen ferocious mysterious Monster Covid-19 invaded our space and attacked our precious guests. We will never be able to thank you enough for your compassion and immediate action.”

A local news station and a local professor stated erroneously in a headline this week,

Unhoused Residents Alone in Tents Have Less Positive Cases of Covid-

This is absolutely not true, or proven in anyway. I responded to this story by requesting an invite on this news show with this;

A test of less than 10% of the population living in tents on Skid Row, and only those who came forward for testing does not make anyone able to make a scientific conclusion that this headline indicates,

Unhoused Residents Alone in Tents Have Less Positive Cases of Covid-19

Some of our staff and I also go to those sites to test.  We are not alone or living in tents. The test results are skewed by the housed like us participating in the tests on the streets.

Our Mission, which has 100 positive cases, out of a once 1000 person population, with nearly 75% reportedly with no symptoms.

This is also due to our testing everyone under our roof every week-Universal Testing.

We are the only Mission receiving Universal Testing of everyone under the roof as this is not happening at any other mission or on the streets of Skid Row or elsewhere on the streets of Skid Row or in other areas with encampments.

It is far too early to indicate in any way that someone is safer on the streets alone in a tent.

A Doctor with the Department of Health agrees, and I believe Dr Barbara Ferrer would as well.

The many other issues of illness and possible violence, even death by homicide, along with the greater(25%)  possibility of Covid-19 while living in the streets compared to 22% in a Mission, make living in a tent far more dangerous than living in a Mission, especially a decompressed Mission that has now lessened our numbers by 50% for this new Pandemic World we are living in. 

Just after writing this, the following happened on our streets and appeared tragically, in the news.

Vermont-Square: One Dead, Two Injured After Car Plows Into Homeless Encampment – ONSCENE.TV

Though criticized and attacked on all sides and most of all by this ferocious fierce unseen Monster Covid-19, we kept our eye on the task at hand, and as I shared with our leadership team this morning, after hearing from the Doctor that this Dreaded Virus is sputtering and may leave us perhaps even by next week or the week after;

“It looks like our persistence and teamwork is wearing out this Monster Covid-19”

It is hard to believe I am saying this after all we’ve endured, team.

You are champions!

With God, All Things are possible!

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