The entrance to the People's City Mission Help Center in Lincoln, Nebraska
The People’s City Mission Help Center is located at 6800 P St., Lincoln, Nebraska. Photo by Calvin Damon.

Flattening the Curve and Saving Lives

People’s City Mission in Lincoln has had to make a few adjustments to its health guidelines as well as the requirements for entering their Help Center, a building where people can go to get clothes and other supplies. This is to ensure that they’re able to continue fulfilling their mission to provide shelter and supplies to those who need them the most, especially during a global pandemic

Pastor Tom Barber, CEO of the People’s City Mission, has taken COVID-19 seriously since the beginning of the pandemic. In early March, he established a set of health guidelines for volunteers and staff as well as the attendees of the People’s City Mission’s Help Center and various shelters to follow to reduce the spread of the virus.  

The guidelines include social distancing, face masks and temperature checks. Since a lot of the people who require their services may find it difficult to acquire a face mask, the Mission provides anyone who enters any of their shelters with a mask if they need one.  

Barber said he wanted to extend this service to the People’s City Mission Help Center as well, but while the People’s City Mission has been able to provide some masks for Help Center attendees, there are simply too many people who go there to be able to provide masks for all of them. Unfortunately, this means that people must attain a mask another way before entering the Help Center.

The People’s City Mission takes the temperature of anyone who enters any People’s City Mission building.  

Finally, the interiors of all of the People’s City Mission buildings are disinfected twice a day.

According to Barber, the guidelines have worked, despite there being 300 guests currently staying at the People’s City Mission. To ensure the continued safety and well-being of the guests, staff and volunteers, the guidelines will remain in effect for the remainder of the pandemic.

Previously, the Help Center was only open to people who were at or lower than twice the poverty line, but with the pandemic and the resulting economic downturn, this service has been extended to people who have lost their jobs as well.

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