Renovation and Expansion
Posted Sep 15, 2020 by Tom Girard
Thank you for all you do to provide food, support, and other resources that makes the mission of Helping Hands possible! This letter is to share some exciting news about how we are growing to provide more services this winter.
Starting this week, our facility at 1023 E. Washington will undergo some renovations to expand our shelter, and provide additional space for people to be here 24 hours a day. The renovations will be complete by November 1, 2020.
The newly renovated space will also include the addition of another multi-purpose area that will increase the ability for physical distancing and isolation area if necessary because of COVID-19 or the flu.
This winter we are planning for a variety of scenarios. We hope Sangamon County does not have to go back to previous COVID-19 recovery phases, but if we do we will be prepared. Our goal is to provide shelter and housing opportunities for as many people as we possibly can, and at the same time keep our clients, staff, and community safe.
The renovations will allow Helping Hands to:
• Increase shelter capacity by 17 beds (to a total capacity of 71 clients in our shelter)
• Go “low barrier” and create separate shelter areas based on client needs
• Offer safe 24-hour “shelter in place” access for clients with more area for physical distancing
• Create an isolation area for COVID-19 when needed
• Possibly accept a father with kids who needs temporary emergency shelter
Again, thank you for being a part of the Helping Hands team. We are excited to see these changes and we’re all – clients and staff – in on the planning for how we’re going to get through the winter together. We are determined to move forward on our goal to make homelessness in Sangamon County rare, brief, and non-recurring.
Recovery Phase 2
Posted Jul 6, 2020 by Tom Girard
Today we have started the next phase of our recovery.This means that meal providers can enter the building to serve a meal but the number of participants is limited to 5.All must wear a mask and are asked to refrain from serving if they are of a high risk group or have high risk social interactions. Thank you all for your loyal dedication in these most trying of times. Tom
Posted Mar 19, 2020 by Tom Girard
We're asking our meal providers to continue to bring the meals to the double doors and our men will come out to bring the meal in. If you have any questions or issues my # is 217-299-4618. Thank you for all your support. Tom
Providers please read
Posted Mar 15, 2020 by Tom Girard
Message to meal providers
Sat, Mar 14, 10:24 PM (7 hours ago)
to me, Ronetta
Please send the message below out to all meal providers immediately -- by tomorrow noon at the latest:
To protect our clients, staff, volunteers, and community, Helping Hands is limiting access to our facility to shelter clients and staff onlyuntil April 1. Because we will be providing three meals a day during this time, meal providers are asked to keep their dates if possible but drop the food off.
If you have a date to serve a meal at Helping Hands from now until April 1, please respond to this email to let us know if you will be able to drop off that meal. We understand if you are not able to bring a meal at this time. Please let us know ASAP so we can make other arrangements.
Helping Hands of Springfield
Erica Smith, MPH
Helping Hands of Springfield
1023 E. Washington Street
Springfield, IL 62703
217-522-0048 ext. 6
Helping Hands Update
Posted Mar 13, 2020 by Tom Girard
Helping Hands has implemented Coronavirus precautions because we are a public place and people who experience homelessness are considered a “high-risk” group. While we do not need to panic, we must protect each other.
We are requiring all clients who have symptoms of respiratory illness to wear a mask. Please do not be alarmed if you see clients wearing a mask. This is just a precaution.
Our meal providers are still welcome to come in and serve food, but as we are a public place we recommend that if you have any concerns about group exposure that you drop the food off. Also, to protect our clients, if any member of a meal provider group has any symptoms of cold or flu we ask that they stay home. This applies to all volunteers too, particularly if they are considered a member of a vulnerable group (over 60, chronic health conditions, etc.).
If you cannot provide a meal for any reason, please call Tom Girard as soon as possible. We will arrange for an alternate meal.
If there is a local outbreak of Coronavirus we will tighten these guidelines and update you immediately. For right now, we are in precautionary mode to protect the safety of our clients, our staff, and our community.
Helping Hands of Springfield
Posted Feb 15, 2020 by Tom Girard
We had a last minute cancellation on Sunday evenings meal. I am reaching out to our regular providers for help before going to plan C.
Newly opened dates
Posted Feb 12, 2020 by Tom Girard
We had two of our long time providers drop off and the second Sundays along with the second Thursdays from March through the end of the year have opened up.They're posted on the Mealtrain Calendar.Thank you very much!!
Posted Jan 2, 2020 by Tom Girard
A beloved &long time meal provider has given up her monthly spot due to her husband recovering from a medical procedure.I'm reaching out to our loyal,regular providers first & the dates are the second Thursdays of each month starting February 13,2020.Thank you for dedication to our agency.
Big News about Helping Hands
Posted Jul 19, 2019 by Yolanda Shelter Manager of
I think this email looks as though it's coming from Yolanda, but Erica (the director of Helping Hands) is writing it.
After more than a year of planning, Helping Hands is proposing an re-imagination of shelter services that will help address homelessness in Springfield and Sangamon County and increase access to mental health, physical health, and community health services for everyone in our community. We are proposing to strategically partner with healthcare providers and other agencies to create a Center for Health & Housing to be located at 521 S. 11th Street.
I am emailing you because you are a meal provider, and as such, you're an integral partner to our mission. Thank you for all you've done, and we hope you will support this re-imagination of our services to improve access to healthcare and housing for everyone.
This Center is more than a "shelter." It strives to bring together a number of initiatives to provide substance abuse, mental health care, physical health care, and housing in an integrated fashion because these needs are all linked. The proposed services offered will be available to the entire community; not solely to people experiencing homelessness. It will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Our goal is to open the shelter with support services by November. Other proposed services, including mental health care and detox, are currently being decided upon and we anticipate will be added throughout the following 15 months.
All of this is in the planning and proposal stages. And yes, we already have people opposing the plan. That's where you come in.
A town hall meeting will be held to discuss a proposal to create a Center for Health & Housing at 521 S. 11th Street. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, July 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club (300 S 15th St, Springfield, IL 62703). The goal of this Town Hall is to present the proposal to the community and listen to feedback/input to the plan.
If you believe this proposal would be of value to our community, please consider attending the town hall. We also will be going before the zoning commission on August 21, and the City Council on September 17. Letters of support would be valuable as we make our case for this building and location.
Another helpful action would be a phone call to City aldermen, the Mayor, and the Sangamon County Board Chair. Tell them you support a Center for Health & Housing to address the issue of homelessness in Springfield and our surrounding rural areas.
If you have any questions, please contact me or Yolanda. We would even be happy to host an informational presentation for groups about the proposed Center if you would like us to come to your church or organization.
Thank you for everything you do for the staff and clients at Helping Hands!
MEAL TRAIN 2019 CALENDAR
Posted Dec 26, 2018 by Yolanda Shelter Manager of
To All my Friends
First of all, I APPRECIATE you all and finally the 2019 Meal Train Calendar is "FINISHED" and is up on the Meal Train.....
So Please Please Please go on there and Book your date to provide a Hot meal to the guys here at the Helping Hands. Also I would like to inform you all that if you see a date that is NOT on the calendar "Don't Be Alarm" that date is already taken..... Happy Booking:}
If you have any concerns or need help pertaining the Meal Train. Please feel free to contact me at 217-522-0048 ext 230 or email at email@example.com
Again thank you all so very much for your patience, Myself and the Team here at the HH appreciate you all.....Looking forward in seeing all your faces when you come here at the Helping Hands....
God Bless you all!
2019 Meal Train Calendar
Posted Nov 20, 2018 by Yolanda Shelter Manager of
Hello My Friends,
I just wanted to update you all pertaining the 2019 Meal Train Calendar. I will be working on having the 2019 Meal Train Calendar up and running in about a week or two give or take. With Work, Meetings and preparing for this Thanksgiving Holiday the time just slipped by. I do Apologize! I would like to say again on behalf of Helping Hands we Appreciate each and every last one of you all and I am So Truly Blessed and Very Grateful for what you All do in giving you time and love for the guys here at the Shelter. (FYI) The guys look forward in having a meal at night here at the Shelter. I just Can't say it enough, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You....
I look forward in seeing each of you ALL in 2019......GOD Bless you Guys Abundantly!!!
Yours Truly, Your Shelter Mg/Meal Coordinator
Enough Food for 50 men's Please.....
Posted Oct 22, 2018 by Yolanda Shelter Manager of
To ALL my Friend Provider's, First I would like to let you all know here at Helping Hands we are so Grateful and Appreciate all of you. Well lately because of the Cold Weather we have been having we have had to turn away 4 or more guys because of the bed space here at the Helping Hands. Myself and the other Shelter Manager Tom have agreed to except 2 or 3 extra mats to accommodate two or three extra men just until Nov 1 when the Winter Warming Center open's. So i am emailing and asking could you make sure the meals you guys are providing will be enough to feed 50 guys.
As Always Thank You for being a Blessing and for Blessing us here at the HH.
Shelter Manager/Meal Organizer
Immediate need -- Friday, October 19
Posted Oct 19, 2018 by Yolanda Shelter Manager of
I'm looking for someone who is not busy right now and has a truck. We have three guys at the shelter over, and no mats for them. If you could take 10 minutes to meet me at 1015 E. Madison, we could transport three mats to Helping Hands at 1023 E. Washington. There will be three people (and me) who would be very grateful! It will take all of 10 minutes to accomplish. Please text me at 217-416-5194 if you are out and available tonight. Thank you!
Director, Helping Hands