Dear Friends and Partners,
Not in our lifetime have we seen such extraordinary measures being taken to fight a pandemic such as the Coronavirus (COVID 19), within the United States. Schools are closed, businesses are drastically impacted, and many of us are being asked to remain in our homes. I join with you in hope and prayer that you and your families are safe and well, and that this will be an abbreviated time with limited impact.
You have been an important part of our work at Wernle, so I wanted to connect with you and share what we are doing in response to the COVID-19. The safety and health of our staff and residents are of the utmost importance. Wernle is working with local, state, and national health agencies on prevention and management in the event of an outbreak on our campus. With this in mind, we have canceled weekly campus outings, home visits, visitations, and external appointments. We have implemented a daily employee screening program, and we are encouraging all our staff and residents to follow the recommended methods from the Center for Disease Control and the Indiana Department of Child Services for reducing the chance of infection.
We recognize that several of you are in tight spots yourselves, due to jobs being suspended or hours being cut back during this unprecedented time. We are asking you to please do what you can to continue to provide support to our youth & families. We are currently providing care for more than 250 young people and their families. Their daily needs must be met, medical and therapeutic care must continue, and of course, the basics of running a residential campus need to be considered. We are still providing a comfortable living environment for the youth through basic utilities and food services, but our reserves are limited and without your support what would we do? I truly believe that with our prayers and with all of us pulling together in these difficult times, we will survive this crisis, but we must work together.
While some of our youth may be claiming “cabin fever,” our staff are amazing in keeping them occupied via board games, puzzles, outdoor activities, and approved videos, all with the appropriate social distancing of course. Please continue to visit our website for further updates, www.wernle.org, and may peace and health be yours during these challenging times.
Finally, I ask that we all continue in prayer that God will see us safely through these stormy times in the life of our nation and the world.
Darrell R. Gordon, MSA, JD, CFRM