The Market Street Mission, a beacon to the down-and-out in Morristown for more than 130 years, should reopen from a COVID closure on Dec. 28, 2020, Executive Director David Scott said on Wednesday.
Everyone at the Mission was tested after its first coronavirus case was confirmed on Dec. 11, with more positive results, Scott said.
On Dec. 18, the Mission announced the suspension of its go-to meal service at 9 Market St., and quarantined about 30 men who live there for substance abuse recovery programs.
Overnight shelter services for temporary guests also were curtailed, according to Mission officials.
And the Mission’s thrift store on George Street closed temporarily, “for the safety of the community,” Scott said in a statement to Morristown Green.
“Throughout the past week or so we’ve been coordinating with the county, and they have been very helpful in meeting some of our biggest needs. As of now, the men in the program are all doing well and recovering nicely, and we look forward to opening back up once our time of quarantining ends,” Scott said.
Go-to meals at the front door should resume for the community on Monday, along with operations at the thrift store, he said.
The Mission closed its overnight shelter to outside guests for a few weeks in March, and long term clients who chose to stay were required to quarantine in place as the pandemic gained momentum, Scott recounted.
Everyone has remained safe and healthy at the Mission’s sister enterprise, the Jersey Shore Rescue Mission in Asbury Park, he said.
Established in Morristown in 1889 on what was known colloquially as “Rum Alley,” the Mission catered to men struggling to beat alcoholism. Nowadays, it feeds poor men, women and children, shelters homeless men, and helps men shake free from drugs and drink in a program that lasts up to a year.
Current clients will start the second phase of their “Life Change Recovery” classes in the New Year, said Scott, who aims to add a 14-bed shelter/Mission in Newton in early 2021. It will provide meals and overnight shelter, and refer people to the Morristown Mission for its long-term program, he said.
“Thanks so much to everyone who has continued to support us and uplift us in prayer!” Scott said.