Gateway Pet Guardians is a proud partner in the Greater East St. Louis COAD (Community Organizations Active in Disaster), a local network of public, private, and non-profit agencies created in response to COVID-19 spearheaded by East Side Aligned. The COAD seeks to enhance communication, collaboration, and coordination; enhance East St. Louis’s ability to prepare, respond, and recover; and assess and meet needs to alleviate human suffering.
All disasters start and end locally, so it’s the whole community’s responsibility to respond, assess, and meet ongoing needs of people. It will take unprecedented collaboration between government, first responders, healthcare, education, nonprofits, churches, etc. The COAD includes several teams focusing on various functions, including:
- Mass Care (feeding, sheltering, distribution, and childcare)
- Volunteer and Donations Coordination
- Emergency Assistance (rent and utility assistance, behavioral health supports, information and referral)
- Spiritual and Emotional Care
- Public Health
Gateway Pet Guardians is the sole animal welfare agency participating in the COAD, but we recognize the importance of partnering with human social service agencies to ensure families have access to pet resources in addition to the basic necessities. Pets provide an incredible amount of companionship and support, but pets are even more important to families living in poverty who are trying to navigate this COVID-19 crisis. COVID-19 has presented additional barriers to the families we serve in East St. Louis, Illinois in accessing resources for both themselves and their pets.
The COAD introduced the following document that provides a list of resources available to residents within the Greater East St. Louis area. We would like to share this with our community, and encourage anyone in need of assistance to reach out to the resources provided.