News Articles

Xavier Mission Confronts the Challenge of Coronavirus

By Jim Sliney Jr

Xavier Mission provides services and opportunities for New Yorkers in need with a focus on empowerment and self-sufficiency. They deliver this with direct provisions of food, clothing, and shelter, as well as group support, mentoring, and financial assistance.  

But how has the Coronavirus impacted their ability to deliver their services?

Xavier Mission serves especially vulnerable people who don’t always have access to routine medical care, so their challenge right now is to ensure the safety of clients, staff and volunteers to whatever extent possible, while continuing to provide their vital services. To ensure this they have relied on the guidelines set forth by the NYS Dept of Health and Mental Services and the Centers for Disease Control.

XAVIER MISSION SERVICE UPDATES

Xavier Mission is considered ‘essential services’ under Governor Cuomo’s “PAUSE New York” Plan. We will continue to provide services to the extent possible. You can find more updates here.

  • Our Welcome Table operations have been scaled back due to the restrictions on gatherings in NYC. We are still providing food to our guests but it is in the form of ‘to-go’ lunch bags instead of a sit-down meal.
  • Our Food Pantry has been modified to provide pre-packaged bags of groceries, rather than a customer-choice model.
  • The Coughlin Men’s Shelter is currently CLOSED.
  • Our Clothing Room is CLOSED.
  • Our Life Skills Empowerment Programs (LSEP) and the Homecoming Program at Metro Baptist Church are ON HIATUS this semester.
  • The Financial Assistance Program is currently ACTIVE, but Metrocards are not being distributed from the office. Visit here for more information.

The challenges facing Xavier Mission are daunting. While some services have been closed and others altered, there are good things happening too. Xavier’s executive director, Cassandra Agredo explained:

“Despite the challenges, we're seeing a lot of positivity, silver linings and bright spots amidst the chaos. People are stepping up with their time and financial contributions and reaching out to offer words of encouragement. This past Saturday, we were able to deliver groceries to our senior food pantry guests with the help of the Sirens Women's Motorcycle Club of NYC. We don't normally deliver and wouldn't have been able to without their help but together we were able to prevent our senior guests from having to make the choice between their health and food. People want to help and that's always heartwarming to see.”

YOU CAN VOLUNTEER

Xavier Mission still needs Volunteers to help pack foodstuffs, so anyone willing and able to volunteer, please visit xaviermission.org/volunteer to sign up.

However, following New York State guidlines, they ask that anyone who has been sick (with any type of illness) not volunteer at any Xavier Mission program until they have been symptom free for at least two weeks (14 consecutive days). Likewise, anyone over 50 or those with underlying health conditions known to be vulnerable to coronavirus should not sign up to volunteer. We appreciate your willingness to help and want everyone to stay safe and healthy!

If you have any concerns about volunteering or receiving services, please contact Cassandra Agredo, Executive Director, at cagredo@xaviermission.org or 212-627-2100, x208.

Catholic Charities is responding to the needs of our neighbors during the 
COVID-19 pandemic.

For Help Call 888-744-7900