On March 24, Mountain View Meeting, a meeting of about 100 in Denver, Colo., decided to open its meetinghouse to house healthcare workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The building can house up to three people. No rent will be charged. As of mid-April, one person has moved in.
“We’re doing it because not only are doctors, [nurses], pharmacists, etc., having to worry about getting [COVID-19] themselves, they have the additional concern of bringing it home to family members when they get off work,” Mountain View Meeting member and hospice chaplain Diane D’Angelo told the Denver weekly Westword. “By offering a place where they can stay with other healthcare professionals, that would minimize that concern.”
Mountain View Meeting stopped using its meetinghouse for gatherings on March 21, so it seemed like a possibility when D’Angelo brought the issue to the meeting.
“The overwhelming sense of the meeting was that this was something we should be doing,” said Joan Piasecki, clerk of the ad hoc committee formed to oversee the program. “The principles of the Frontline Houses movement reflect our testimonies of Integrity, Equality, and Community. And we’ve shared our meetinghouse recently by providing sanctuary to persons facing deportation. We have space for three residents to have separate bathrooms and we have outdoor space should their family members want to safely visit.”
Mountain View Meeting is following the model of Frontline Houses, a movement that recently started in Phoenix, Ariz. The principles of the movement include a devotion to infection control, a commitment of co-residents to look out for one another’s emotional and spiritual health, transparency about one’s own health, and a commitment to care for other co-residents should they get sick.
Mountain View Meeting has received queries from other Friends meetings about the program.