UGM of Salem reports update after COVID-19 outbreak temporarily curtailed operations

     November 9, 2020

       Updated November 19, 2020

On November 9, we shared our discovery of and response to ten (10) positive tests for COVID-19 at our Men’s Mission facility and one (1) positive test at the Mission Store facility. Upon that discovery, we curtailed our operations at the Men’s Mission. Simonka Place and other facilities remained open as usual.

We continued to serve our guests and clients in our facilities on a limited basis, not allowing new intakes, asking current guests to remain in facility, offering curbside food service and cold weather items.  We executed extensive sanitization of our facilities.

After sustaining the last few days with no new cases or symptoms of COVID across the facility, we are grateful to say that today we are cleared to begin accepting guest intakes at the Men’s Mission, although we are enforcing new protocols for the safety of staff and guests.


(1) New guest intakes at our Men’s Mission have resumed, but guests entering the facility must accept a COVID test (conducted by community partner JD Health and Wellness), resulting in a negative test outcome. To-go meals and masks are still available to those who decline a test and cannot enter the building.

(2) With guest intakes now resumed, there are 125 beds available at the Mission. Additional space is available for quarantining COVID-exposed individuals, and for those who may need isolation.

(3) As of Monday, November 16, the Mission Store and Donation Center are open to the public after extensive sanitization was conducted, and all store and warehouse personnel tested negative. The store is operating now under the new “Freeze” State regulations.

(4) At this time, we are monitoring potential cases of COVID among our guests at our Simonka Place shelter in Keizer. We are working with Marion County health officials to safely quarantine and isolate individuals as they await their test results. Mass testing is scheduled to be conducted for all Simonka Place personnel and guests.

(4) For a shelter such as UGM, Marion County health regulations state that even one (1) positive case is recognized as an outbreak. We are in continued close contact with testing facilities, health organizations, and Marion County to isolate, treat, and test all in our facilities as need be.

(5) For the privacy and dignity of our community, we will not be releasing any individuals’ names.

As COVID-19 forced us to temporarily scale down our capacity to serve, the compassionate support from our communities allows UGM to fill critical gaps. Even despite our currently limited capacity and access, while also taking heightened safety measures, we continue to provide life-saving programs, such as daily providing sack meals outside of the facility, emergency shelter, counseling, and housing.

We appreciate your continued prayers and support as we face this ever-changing situation.


For media inquiries, please contact Alena Harvey at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *