02 Jul New Beginnings: Sumner Reopens and TQIC
After exactly 30 days of operating as a temporary COVID quarantine facility, the IHS Men’s Shelter on Sumner Street is again accepting new clients. All of the COVID-positive patients have been time-cleared by the Department of Health and a deep-clean of the facility was completed prior to reopening. At the time of my writing, the shelter is a COVID-free zone and we’d like to keep it that way!
During the same week we reopened the men’s shelter, we were granted a new opportunity to continue our work with COVID-positive homeless clients. Over the course of two weeks, we quietly expanded our role in the State Department of Health’s Temporary Quarantine and Isolation Center (TQIC) on Kaaahi Street. IHS now has full care coordination and medical responsibility for the facility, where we are supporting COVID-positive homeless individuals from the streets, hospitals, shelters and other community venues.
TQIC is a critical safety net for our community, where we are managing medically subacute patients with the added complexity of their homelessness. These are individuals whose addictions and mental health issues surface significantly when in isolation. It is a place where people are fighting the virus along with their other battles and, very frequently, starting anew upon their departure. For each person in our care at TQIC, our goal is to release them to a stable environment, whether it be a treatment facility or permanent housing; not to the streets or the lure of their vices.
On September 30th, we held a blessing at the TQIC and I empowered our staff to help one another heal and serve this vulnerable population.
“I invite you today to bring your hearts and minds together with united intentions of creating experiences of healing, hope and real transitions that spring forth from this place we call the Temporary Quarantine and Isolation Center… Since opening, this place has been the venue for surprise, for medical recovery, a place for reflection and solitude, and for dreaming of new beginnings for the people we serve…”
One of our staff members at TQIC recently insightfully stated, “People think this is a sad place, a lonely place for people who are sick. But really it is a blessed place because we take people who are broken and alone, and we help them. We fix them. When they are here, they’re not alone anymore.”
All of our IHS service centers are places people come for safety, healing, and hope. YOU are agents of that safety, healing, and hope. Your support is a constant reminder of the power of community to touch people in their deepest despair and offer new beginnings in the unlikeliest of places.
Mahalo for the new beginnings you make possible!