When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ ”

– Fred Rogers, aka Mr. Rogers

As many workforces shut down and staff head home to “social distance” in the security of their homes with their families. Front-line workers across the shelter sector are doing the exact opposite. They are leaving their children, loved ones, and elderly family members at home.

Like many front-line workers, our staff are anxious and concerned about their own health as they traverse to and from work. They are worried about the very real risk of potentially bringing the virus home, to their loved ones. Even so, they come to work anyway, every day to support the young people that have come to rely on them. “They have entrusted Management to keep them safe, they are pushing their fears aside,” says Shequita Thompson, Senior Site Manager at Eva’s Phoenix, a 50-bed transitional housing facility. “They are showing up fully for the youth and working diligently to make sure that each young person has what they need to stay safe and healthy. I am truly thankful for each and every one of them.”

All of our staff at Eva’s are critical to our organization’s success and valuable members of our team, but in this time of a COVID-19 pandemic, it is our front-line staff that are holding our organization and our youth up. They are the foundation that has allowed us to keep our doors open and facilities running during this time. “They are helpers,” Helder Costa, Residential Supervisor at Eva’s Place, a 40-bed emergency shelter , quoting Mr. Rogers, the famed Children’s Television Host. “It is during uncertain, unchartered times such as this, that we see who the true helpers are.”

And Eva’s staff are true helpers. Despite concerns for their own health or their families, they are ‘leaned-in’ for the youth we serve. They set aside their fears and worries and show up calm and fully present ready to navigate the complexities both emotional and physical that youth experiencing homelessness face daily, and are heightened in a crisis.

Eva’s frontline workers face the challenge of managing programming for young people in confined spaces. COVID – 19 protocol, requires the staff and youth to practice physical distancing, but in shelters, space is a premium the nature of their job sometimes complicates it.

Our frontline workers have demonstrated a commitment and dedication is unparalleled. They are passionate about the youth they serve and realize this pandemic is now beginning. Our youth are resilient and their futures are bright, they just need a few caring adults to hold them in these uncertain times.

Learn more about how you can support us.