HALO is a non-profit for homeless and at-risk children. Based in the State of Missouri, USA, it has facilities in Kansas City and Jefferson City and serves over 2,000 children around the world per year. The charity also operates satellite programs and partners with organizations abroad, notably in Kenya, Uganda, Mexico and India.
HALO’s mantra is that ‘homeless isn’t hopeless’. Its mission extends far beyond food and shelter, serving as the foundation of a family and equipping disadvantaged youth with the knowledge and skills to lead a successful and fulfilling life. This is achieved through a holistic approach of providing housing, healing and education services, including counselling sessions, medical check-ups, life skill courses, therapeutic art, and mental support.
When the Coronavirus pandemic started, it soon became clear that it was not just a threat to the medical welfare of HALO’s kids, but to their mental health.
|“We needed to quickly adapt and provide a safe environment for kids to come to HALO to attend virtual day classes and evening programming with our shelter partners,” says Nicole Gerken, Chief Operating Officer at HALO. “Given that the biggest threat is airborne transmission, we installed Rensair air purifiers at each of our Missouri sites. Knowing that the units are hospital-grade quality, with performance data backed by independent reports, gives us complete peace of mind. Unlike residential air purifiers, the Rensair units create a strong airflow that cleans the air throughout a shared space. They are also simple to use, reliable and unobtrusive.”|
“With the Rensair units providing clean air, this helped us tackle the side effects of the pandemic”, adds Nicole. “Social distancing and isolation were really hard for our kids mentally. Thanks to Rensair, we were able to adapt our operations and provide stability and continuity to our kids.”
|The kids at HALO are naturally curious, so the HALO team is using the Rensair units as a platform for discussing the importance of air quality. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, poor air quality is responsible for an estimated 100,000 premature deaths in the USA each year. The spate of wildfires within the State of Missouri adds to the problem, emitting microscopic smoke particles that can penetrate deep into the lungs and be hazardous to health. In addition to viruses, the Rensair units are effective at trapping common forms of air pollution including smoke, vehicle emission particulates, and mold spores.|
HALO will break ground soon on a campus of two residential buildings and one Learning Center in Kansas City, where the focus will be on a long-term transitional program for at-risk teenagers and their dependents. Through workshops and mentoring, the program will cater for a wide spectrum of needs, ultimately preparing adolescents to succeed in breaking the cycle of poverty and becoming a contributing member of the community.
“We will no doubt be talking to Rensair again when our new buildings are up and running”, says Nicole. “Here at HALO, the homeless children and teens we work with don’t just exceed expectations, they defy the odds. That’s how we view Rensair. Trapping and destroying 99.99% of coronavirus particles in aerosol or droplet form is awesome!”
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