- We’ve started a weekly Monday all-staff virtual meeting to keep staff connected.
- The Chicago Department of Public Health will be dropping off a shipment of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the next few days for our frontline staff.
- We were a recipient of an emergency grant from the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund to help us continue our work during this tumultuous period.
- We continue to see rising demand, with the highest number of individuals stopping by the Inspiration Cafe during pickup times peaking at 74.
- Because each person receives two meals, on that day we served triple the number of meals that we had been serving on our busiest days at the Cafe prior to the programming change!
- Gotham Greens, a local producer, has donated significant amounts of produce to support our work at the Cafe.
- Many donors have generously contributed pre-packaged food, snacks, and other supplies through our Amazon Wishlist.
- Our long-time volunteer, Beth, from Threadline Studios donated 70 cloth masks for staff and participants.
- These masks are also for sale to the public, and we are receiving a portion of the proceeds.
- We will be distributing a few small cash grants through #GiveTogetherNow, an initiative of Stand Together and the Family Independence Initiative, to support our participants who are recently out of work.
- Our weekly newsletter continues to push out resources and virtual lessons to our graduates and students.
- We’ve been talking with the Chicago Jobs Council and Catalyst Kitchens to learn more about how other providers are conducting work online. We’ll be doing an assessment of the current capabilities of students and graduates of our training program to interface with us online. With libraries closed, many of our participants struggle to access computers and internet.
- We’ll be producing 50 meals two days each week for the Night Ministry’s mobile outreach team.
- We’re working to move new households into homes, and to assist currently enrolled households.
- We’ll be distributing a large volume of household cleaning supplies and food to support participants in the next weeks.
- One of our Outreach participants who had been living at Pacific Garden Missions has been placed in permanent housing!
- Our case workers are reaching out to participants to make sure they are counted in the 2020 Census.
- We are struggling to connect participants to benefits supports (SNAP, etc.) due to office closures and overwhelmed phone systems.
- Case workers are spending a great deal of time on the phone with participants waiting on hold for vital supports.
- City Colleges are on spring break.
- We’re making sure all Jericho scholars are equipped to switch to digital class work when the term picks back up next week.
Ways to Help
If you are interested in contributing to Inspiration Corporation during this difficult time, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Inspiration Cafe is incurring large supply cost increases due to the need to purchase to-go containers, individually wrapped silverware, etc. for meals distribution.
- We are in need of monetary support to meet this cost increase, and would also welcome donations of supplies from anyone who has overstock.