Dorothy Day: Building community, while physical distancing

Categories: News

SEATTLE, WA – During these times of COVID-19 and the physical distancing measures that go with it, the staff and residents of Dorothy Day House are finding creative ways to build community and lift spirits, while practicing safe physical distancing.

Traditionally, the ladies at Dorothy Day House like to socialize in the lobby, which holds about five people in close proximity. Today, with physical distancing being practiced by all Catholic Community Services of Western Washington programs, this type of socializing is no longer safe. In order to keep spirits up and encourage residents to get to know one another, staff at Dorothy Day encouraged the ladies to participate in answering a weekly question by posting their response on a half sheet of paper on their door. This way other residents may pass by, read their neighbors’ responses, connect with one another on a different level, and be inspired by other’s ideas. Last week’s question “What are you grateful for today?” elicited numerous responses:

During challenging times such as these, this activity enabled Dorothy Day residents to build rapport with one another, while practicing physical distancing to protect the health and wellbeing of all staff and residents. Most importantly, though, it made a huge impact on the ladies! For now, they plan on continuing this project with a new question every two weeks, so that a little more positivity can be shared while we all face the COVID-19 crisis.

The Dorothy Day House is a residence for homeless women, managed by Catholic Housing Services. The Seattle residence provides 41 single units for low-income adult women, many of whom are disabled.