The Center for Human Services (CHS) staff and community partners have stepped up to the challenge these past few weeks. They are working together by keeping children well fed, supporting families in need, and providing creative, fun activities for kids while at home.
The staff at Kreative Kiddos, a CHS partner, was able to purchase food for a week for families that are not in care and deliver it to their home. Early Head Starts (EHS) goal is to make sure all families have what they need to get through this pandemic.
According to Emily Fowler, CHS Intake Specialist, CHS provided goodie bags for children in the program so they will have fun activities to do in the home. One mom shared, “We are beyond excited.” The staff have also been staying in touch with the families by calling them and checking in. Miss Jessica and other teachers started doing virtual story telling so that they can still be interactive with children. The Harris Center continues to have two classrooms open for those parents whose jobs are essential.
Loletta Combs, Director of Family and Child Development states, “The dedicated staff have met the challenge of serving children and families through regular contact by phone calls, emails, or social media, since in-person visits have been suspended. Many parents have reported the contacts have been helpful in providing additional activities to do with their children while being home during this time.”
In Community Living, there are 36 individuals living in seven group homes. The staff have also been creative keeping folks active and creating new routines. Bonnie Bingaman, Lead Program Manager, adds, “Without the care and dedication of direct staff, we would not be able to continue providing the quality services for which we are known during this pandemic crisis. We have utilized the day services staff in the homes as well as our residential staff to assure the individuals supported have a variety of activities to do throughout the day.”
Employment Services (ES) continues supporting people in the workplace. Kim Anderson, ES Director adds, “I could not be more proud of my employees that work in ES and who have all turned this very different time into an opportunity to learn new ways to provide the exemplary services that set us apart from our competitors. Caseworkers continue to work with new individuals and have assisted some of them in starting new jobs during this crisis situation. Many individuals that are employed are in jobs that are considered “essential” and we have been blessed with an incredible group of job coaches that show up every day to make sure these individuals continue to be successful in their employment. While this time has been uncharted territory, I could not ask for a better team to navigate these unknown waters with.”