As we enter the summer months, we are keenly aware of the severe challenges facing our community. The health and economic disruptions of the Covid-19 crisis fall heaviest on the populations we serve – vulnerable adults challenged by parole/probation, disability, substance use disorder and homelessness. Poverty, hunger, housing instability and limited access to healthcare are all worsening across the Philadelphia region. The recent protests regarding racial injustice add to the pain. Many of our participants could have been George Floyd – victims of an encounter with the criminal justice system that goes horribly wrong.
*We are here for our participants.
- For 40 years, we have been serving those most in need of work and support. We will continue to do that, regardless of the current circumstances, because of the current circumstances. Over the past 10 weeks, our regular operations have been restricted in alignment with state guidelines to stop the spread of corona virus. During that time, our dedicated staff have consistently maintained contact with our program participants, providing financial support, gift cards and assistance with filing for state and federal benefits. We have reached out weekly by phone and email to check-in, express encouragement and simply listen. It has been a difficult and uncertain time for all of us. Staying connected is a source of comfort and sustenance.
- We have used this unexpected interruption to strengthen our foundation for the long recovery period ahead. We have asked our generous donors to accelerate grants and give a bit more to support participants in need. They have responded brilliantly, providing us with the resources to resume and sustain our program going forward.
- We have also used this time to enhance the safety of our workplace. Long-needed repairs have been made and our sites have been thoroughly cleaned. Most importantly, we have been implementing the health protocols necessary to safely resume operations during a pandemic. Our daily work will take place with social distancing, wearing of protective equipment like masks and gloves, regular disinfecting of common spaces and appropriate health monitoring of staff, participants, volunteers and visitors. We are committed to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for all.
- We have designated the week of June 8 to begin resuming a regular schedule. Re-opening will be a gradual process through the summer months, to ensure a safe environment and allow time for customer activity to ramp up. We anticipate operating on a limited program schedule in June and July, with steady progress as conditions and business permit.
- As we go forward, we will communicate with our participants, customers, partners and supporters every step of the way. We are excited to return to what we love – providing hope and opportunity to those in need through work and personal development in a trauma-informed setting.
Together, we’ll be here to make our community stronger and better.