Englewood resident Adelmo Vallejos says he tries to not think about how he is suffering from kidney cancer, but sometimes he will wake up in the middle of the night from nightmares about his condition.
He says his immune system isn’t strong and for now, he can’t go to doctor appointments for his cancer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Vallejos is 71 and his age and condition place him at elevated risk of dying from the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says older adults and people of any age who have serious medical conditions may be at higher risk for bad outcomes from COVID-19.
“I have to risk my life to go out to the stores to get what I need. If you go over to the stores, there isn’t much you can get anyway because everything is gone,” said Vallejos.
Residents like Vallejos who are at risk to the worst of what COVID-19 can cause are the type of people Change the Trend and other churches and organizations are targeting for assistance. Change the Trend is a community coalition based in Englewood that assists the homeless, but during the pandemic, it is expanding its services to grabbing groceries for those who are at risk.
Churches and organizations that are part of Change the Trend like Wellspring Church, Spirit of Hope United Methodist Church, A Stronger Cord, Cafe180, Movement 5280, LoveINC, HAAT Force, The Sacred Grace and GraceFull Cafe, and other entities outside of Change the Trend like Mosaic Church, are working together to deliver groceries or to provide other resources to those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group is looking to assist seniors and residents with health problems in Englewood, Littleton and Sheridan.
“If the COVID-19 stay-at-home order continues, there is going to be an increased need to find those (vulnerable) people and protect them as the virus continues to spread,” said Englewood City Councilmember Joe Anderson. He launched Change the Trend in 2017.
Colorado is under a stay-at-home order until at least April 11 to stop the spread of COVID-19. Gov. Jared Polis said that order will likely be extended.
“I think the real key to this is figuring out which neighbors need help and helping them directly. The Change the Trend effort is to catch the people that are falling through the cracks,” said Anderson.
The idea for the churches and organizations to help residents with groceries and other needs was born in the middle of March when the entities all met to talk about how to best adapt their services to vulnerable populations.
Movement 5280 Executive Director Tina Hayhurst said she knew there was a need to help out seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Outside of its efforts to deliver groceries and other needs for vulnerable populations, Movement 5280 assists at-risk and homeless young adults and other homeless residents. The organization provides meals, clothing, hygiene products, mentorship and more to the homeless.
“During this time, we have to think about the vulnerable, whether that is an older person who is afraid to get out, if that is someone who is lonely, those who have anxiety and the homeless,” said Hayhurst.
To receive help with getting groceries delivered, visit changethetrend.org or call 720-235-8501.
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