Local health systems, the City of Greenville and Greenville County collaborate with non-profit to mitigate spread of virus
GREENVILLE, SC (April 8, 2020) In preparation for a potential outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus among the Upstate’s sheltered and unsheltered homeless population, Miracle Hill Ministries has partnered with local health systems, governments and other community partners to open quarantine space at Greenville Rescue Mission. The effort is an interim solution for this population until South Carolina’s medical surge plan is implemented by Governor McMaster’s Covid-19 response team.
“Providing compassionate care is especially critical for those in our community who are the most vulnerable among us – individuals experiencing homelessness, both sheltered and unsheltered,” said Ryan Duerk, President/CEO of Miracle Hill Ministries. “This is a short term solution to a problem that will be addressed by the creation of an external shelter and medical surge sites. Until that time, Miracle Hill will lovingly serve in this capacity while utilizing the cooperative efforts of all partners in this initiative.”
The quarantine space, located in the gymnasium at Greenville Rescue Mission, has been outfitted with cots and supplies. The space initially will have the capacity to house several dozen individuals who have tested positive for the virus. Additional alternative space is located on site for those who are exhibiting possible symptoms of infection and are awaiting test results. To date, Miracle Hill has not had any sick guests. Paramedics are currently testing the guests in all six of Miracle Hill’s adult shelters.
Prisma Health will provide medical resources, and Bon Secours St. Francis Health System will provide additional supplies.
“How our community comes together during COVID-19 to support vulnerable populations will be critical to our area’s success,” said Jennifer Snow, Executive Director of Accountable Communities for Prisma Health. “Providing access to care to those who may be or are infected by the coronavirus – including testing and temporary shelter for the homeless and housing-insecure community – is a priority for Prisma Health. Miracle Hill and all of the partners involved have come together to develop a solution that will lead to a safer and healthier community; this is community-led innovation at its best
Bon Secours leaders couldn’t agree more.
“Collectively, we can offer a quicker, more efficient response to this unprecedented pandemic. Bon Secours is happy to be a part of these efforts to safeguard the health of the communities we are so privileged to serve, as that is our priority today and every day moving forward,” said Bon Secours Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Marcus Blackstone.
People experiencing homelessness are considered at greater risk of infection because of their limited resources, lack of adequate housing and compromised health. Having supplemental quarantine spaces like the space at the Mission will help hospitals avoid being overwhelmed during the crisis and ensure that their beds and essential equipment are limited to those with the greatest need.
“Miracle Hill Ministries is an important partner in community efforts to serve our homeless and vulnerable citizens who may need shelter and a safe place to recover from COVID-19,” said Mayor Knox White. “The City of Greenville is grateful to Miracle Hill for their willingness to open their shelter for use as a temporary Tier 1 facility while a permanent facility is established.”
Miracle Hill is committed to serving the Upstate’s most vulnerable citizens and facing this crisis with courage and faith. The organization is deeply grateful for the community’s support for those serving on the front lines and is encouraging citizens to pray that this outbreak will soon come to an end.
"Every day during these most trying times, we are seeing the best in people pulling together to help those who need it most,” said Greenville County Council Chairman Butch Kirven. “Ordinary burdens are put aside because we truly are all in this together. County Council and the entire Greenville County Team will do whatever we can to assist
Sandy Furnell, Director of Communications & Public Relations, Miracle Hill Ministries
864.631.0158 or 864.420.7292 (cell) | firstname.lastname@example.org
About Miracle Hill Ministries
Miracle Hill Ministries is the Upstate’s largest, most comprehensive provider of services to homeless children and adults. Serving the Upstate since 1937, Miracle Hill’s programs include rescue shelters for the homeless, residential addiction recovery, transitional housing, shelters for children, and foster care. Miracle Hill’s eight thrift stores provide employment opportunities for the community as well as former Miracle Hill guests.
Miracle Hill has been awarded the Certificate of Excellence as a Certified Mission by City Gate Network, a distinction given to fewer than 30 missions nationwide. Additionally, Miracle Hill’s foster care program and group home for children have been accredited by CARF International. For more information about Miracle Hill, please visit www.MiracleHill.org or call 864.268.4357. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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