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COVID-19 grant helps Pillars relocate shelter residents to a hotel

Posted on Apr 17, 2020, by

To help prevent or reduce the likelihood of coronavirus infection among residents and staff, and to avoid hospitalization for those who may become ill, the Appleton-based homeless shelter will use a $45,000 grant to implement plans to enhance social distancing of residents from two shelters assisting people in Calumet, Outagamie and Winnebago counties (includes the Neenah-Menasha area).

By Joe Mauthe, Executive Director, Pillars

On Monday we relocated approximately 100 clients from both shelters to a local hotel. It went very smoothly and so far everything is going as planned.

The hotel setting will provide a better environment for physical distancing and therefore was an important step in preventing the spread of COVID-19 among our Pillars team, our clients, and the Fox Cities community at large. We’re extremely grateful to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund (established by United Way Fox Cities and the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region), and the J. J. Keller Foundation for their financial support for this endeavor.

The Pillars Adult Shelter on College Avenue in Appleton is effectively shut down from a client perspective. We’re still using it for client intake procedures.The Adult & Family Shelter on Division Street has a significantly reduced population with families only to allow for better physical distancing.

The move to the hotel will not allow us to increase the number of clients served. Our ability to serve is limited at this point by the number of front-line Pillars staff that is available. We intend to continue serving the approximately 120 clients that we were serving previously. New clients will be accepted as existing clients move out to other housing.

Here’s a video we made to explain the plan and to thank everyone who provided the financial support to enable us to move these clients:

To find out how you can support Pillars in this critical time, please visit  From that site you can make a financial contribution, signup for volunteer opportunities, and see our “wish list” of needed food and supplies.

We invite you to donate now to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund. You can also learn about who has given to the fund, the fund’s grant recipients, and check out our latest news and updates.

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