Keeping the Mission Safe | By Christa Collier, Development Assistant
Some of the most brought up questions that everyone asks when they visit our property, especially volunteers, revolves around safety. Am I safe here? Will my car be fine here? And the answer to those questions are simple. Yes.
When it comes to safety precautions in an enclosed two city block property, such as this, the quality of safety at the Mission comes down to an organized and affective security team along with a sufficient security program. Thanks to Kevin Guyton, our Security Operations Manager, the Mission continues to be a safe space for those volunteering, visiting, or for those staying with us on property.
Unlike most shelters our property is home to numerous buildings that include a men’s shelter, women and children’s shelter, addiction recovery, chapel, dining hall, several warehouses and a thrift store. Having multiple buildings on property means more security measures, especially in the new normal of the pandemic. Once someone has approached our security gate not only are they faced with security personal for temperature taking, they are also monitored throughout the time they are on the Mission property from check-ins to placing placards on visiting vehicles to keep track of new individuals on the property. “I’m paid to not underestimate anyone and to think through all types of scenarios. You don’t get the luxury to underestimate anyone here,” explained Guyton. Not only is Guyton well versed in the risks and the comprehensive system of the Mission, he helps mentor his team ensuring that his department is ready for any unexpected scenarios. “I like to help train the supervisors and those on my team to check in with the general population. It helps keep everything on an even keel,” stated Guyton. With a moderate size security team to cover the vast area of the property surveillance, maximum observation is a must. In other words, no one can just enter the property without having a pre-approved reason. With volunteers, weekly food box giveaways, donation drop offs and thrift store shoppers constantly coming and leaving the property, our security team knows they must keep track of everyone sufficiently, especially when it deals with keeping track of our recovery and shelter guests.
Over the course of the pandemic our population became dissipated from having 200 plus individuals on our property at one time to having 50-60 people spread out throughout our property. Though our population of individuals on property are currently nowhere near the original number, our security team still remains vigilant regarding those encased in the Missions boundaries. With a combination of surveillance and check-in verification, our security team continues to maintain safety while overseeing all activity that takes place at our Mission.