2720 East MadisonSeattle, WA 98112
Bailey-Boushay House (BBH) was founded at the peak of the HIV/AIDS pandemic to offer compassionate care to those who couldn’t find it anywhere else. It was eerily familiar when another pandemic swept through Washington, but our team took quick action to protect our community from COVID-19.
Because HIV weakens the immune system, many of our clients are highly vulnerable to the novel coronavirus. These protective efforts were especially important since we’re also a nursing home — and nursing homes are especially susceptible to the virus.
“We immediately limited access to the facility and opened the emergency shelter to our homeless clients 24/7,” says BBH Executive Director Brian Knowles. “Registered nurses screened all inpatients and shelter guests for COVID-19 symptoms twice each day. We asked all clients who have a place to live to shelter-in-place at home, and we quickly adapted to offer remote services.”
This was no small task and, thankfully, our donors were there to help. Donations enabled us to provide meals for those sheltering at BBH and provide takeaway grocery bags for other clients. As client needs have changed, we are looking at alternative methods to better serve them. Ideas we have been working on implementing are providing prepaid laundromat cards, and prepaid cell phones so clients who couldn’t visit in-person could stay in touch with their care team.
“Some of our clients take 25 pills per day to manage their HIV and need to be in close touch with our team,” Brian says. “Many others rely on us for daily meals. Gifts from donors enabled us to continue that vital support in a new way.”
Our care providers were also able to offer remote counseling services to help clients navigate mental health issues and isolation during the pandemic.
“We find ways to support our community no matter what, but we can’t do it without our donors,” Brian says. “We know it’s not easy to give right now, and we’re so thankful to have dedicated donors making our work possible, even during the hardest times.”