Monarch’s Emergency Response to COVID-19

March 16, 2020

Monarch Community,

We want to thank you all for the outpouring of support and interest in ways you can help our students, alumni, and their families during these unprecedented times. The San Diego County Office of Education has ordered Monarch School to close until at least April 6, 2020. This is particularly difficult news for our students as Monarch School is their safety net, offering food, education, health, and mental health services, caring adults, and a safe place to be during the day. Please know we are working quickly to take significant and necessary steps to evaluate and respond to the vulnerability and needs of our community.

We are working to mobilize supplies and temporary assistance for our families. As of Friday, our unsheltered families living on the streets have been moved into hotels to provide them with a safe space to self-quarantine and have regular access to sanitation, hygiene, and refuge from the continued wet weather we are experiencing. Next, we are working to set up regular access to basic needs such as food (grocery store gift cards, nutritious meals, and non-perishable items), clothing, hygiene kits, transportation assistance, and other supplies as they become available. Our incredible and dedicated staff team is setting up regular phone check-ins with our families to monitor their needs and offer telephone counseling and therapy services to help manage heightened stress and anxiety.

To sustain this level of support, we do need your help. Typically, we send out a list of items we need and ask you to donate those items; however, we do not want to place anyone at risk. At this time, we are seeking monetary donations and will not be able to accept goods and services. All donations will go directly to providing hotel vouchers, food assistance, hygiene supplies, warm clothing, and vehicle assistance, including gas cards and maintenance needs for our families living in vehicles. We estimate that we need to raise approximately $100,000 to maintain this level of support for the next three weeks during the school closure and potentially longer. Any donation, of any size, is greatly appreciated!

Life for those experiencing homelessness is more difficult than most of us can imagine, and this means that our students and families are more likely to experience adverse outcomes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our collective efforts can certainly help provide some safety and stability during this time for our Monarch community.

With gratitude,
Marisol Alvarado

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