After a week of rapid antigen testing at Base Camp, 41 people have been screened and readmitted! At this time, Base Camp now has the capacity to offer this screening process at any time of day. Anyone in need of shelter is welcome to walk up to Base Camp or to call ahead and schedule an appointment for screening (360-733-5120). If the antigen test is negative, the person will be admitted on the spot. If the test is positive, we will work with the individual and the health department to connect them with the Isolation and Quarantine Facility.
We are so grateful to be able to welcome in more people once again in a safe manner. Thank you for your support and care for our neighbors who are homeless!
Lighthouse Mission Ministries’ Base Camp is able to accept more people into its homeless services center in Bellingham after gaining the capability on Dec. 15 to administer a rapid COVID-19 test.
“I am so pleased to be able to open up Base Camp more widely to any neighbor seeking shelter,” said Hans Erchinger-Davis, Executive Director of Lighthouse Mission Ministries. “As of Dec. 15 we had an additional 121 beds available (82 at Base Camp, and then once filled another 39 overflow at the former LMM Drop-In Center).”
Base Camp had 108 guests that stayed overnight Dec. 15.
“As of Dec. 15 we have began incrementally welcoming people back who have not been staying consistently at Base Camp through a new screening/readmittance process. This includes thorough symptom screening, a temperature check, and a rapid COVID-19 antigen test done on-site at Base Camp that provides results in 15 minutes.” Erchinger-Davis said. “We now have the capacity to offer the screening at any time of day to as many people.
“If the antigen test is negative, the person will be admitted on the spot. If the test is positive, we will work with the individual and the health department to connect them with the Isolation and Quarantine Facility. We encourage potential guests of Base Camp to call 360-733-5120 ext. 215 or walk up to Base Camp to set-up an appointment. Our staff have greatly missed our friends who have been staying elsewhere during this time. We look forward to welcoming so many people back in or even into the facility for the first time.”
Twice a week testing for COVID-19 continues at Base Camp since discovering three guests and one staff member had positive tests, the most recent case reported was on Dec. 6. For more than a week, Lighthouse Mission had to restrict who was staying at Base Camp to those who had stayed continuously there or who came from a verified source, such as hospital or jail.
“We are working closely with the Whatcom County Health Department to ensure that our guests and the front-line staff caring for them are safe,” Erchinger-Davis said. “Our protocols include screening for symptoms and encouraging hand washing, mask wearing, and social distancing.
“The safety of staff and guests is our highest priority, and we will take every action needed to ensure their ongoing health.”
Lighthouse Mission Ministries has been healing homelessness with Christ’s power and love since 1923. It supports up to 310 people each day and provides a continuum of services aimed at ending homelessness through street outreach, enhanced 24-hour shelter services, addiction recovery, spiritual support, and aftercare.