Celebrating and Meeting Neighbors Where They Are

This year’s holiday party at the IW Empowerment Center and Overflow programs at Progress Place in Silver Spring was a great example of how IW meets people where they are, celebrating the season and responding to residents’ health needs.

These programs serve people experiencing homelessness. Since July of this year, in collaboration with our partners at Montgomery County HHS’ Services to End and Prevent Homelessness, we have administered over 1,400 COVID tests and nearly 40 vaccine and booster shots.

At our holiday celebration, IW staff made the gathering run smoothly. Kathryn Guzzey, Senior Case Manager, and Michelle Bridges, Shift Supervisor, staffed the donut, hot chocolate, and coffee station while James Pearce, Program Support Manager, assisted with the sign-in sheets for COVID testing.

All shelter guests and staff were offered a COVID vaccine and booster shot and participated in our mandatory weekly testing. After receiving their tests, each shelter guest grabbed a donut, a warm beverage, a beautifully wrapped gift box containing toiletries, socks, masks, snacks, and a $25 Safeway gift card, and then headed to the back of the facility to watch holiday movies. 

Bravo to our staff, partners, volunteers, and donors, who make it all possible every day. Happy holidays!

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