By Carol Corden, Executive Director
As the coronavirus spreads and most of our staff has moved to remote work, I wanted to share an update on the measures that New Destiny has implemented to maintain programming for the vulnerable individuals and families we serve. We are communicating through email, phone and text messaging so that we can help tenants in our buildings and participants in our HousingLink program to remain healthy, safe and housing stable. For many of our tenants, this outreach has provided critical support.
When the Tenant Support Coordinator contacted Mr. Wilson, age 75, last week and he told her that he had a fever and a cough, she immediately became concerned. She began calling him daily to ascertain his condition and to make certain that he spoke with his doctor who believed his symptoms were caused by anxiety and a cold exacerbated by respiratory issues. She also helped him transfer his prescriptions to a nearby pharmacy. Mr. Wilson shared that the daily calls were very important to him since his niece is now unable to visit.
We are also working closely with city and state officials, community partners and government leaders to ensure that we are up-to-date on this fast-moving pandemic so that we can support survivors and families across our programs, and provide the most current information on our website regarding how the coronavirus may impact renting an affordable apartment and accessing documents. We are also advocating to prevent disruptions to critical benefits such as SNAP, housing vouchers and Medicaid, as well as for rent relief.
COVID-19 impacts all of us but for low-income victims of domestic violence the effects are compounded by the numerous challenges they already face. While most of the survivors in our buildings work, they often work hourly jobs with no benefits in sectors that have closed entirely — retail and food services. Many have already lost their jobs. Others are essential workers like home health and nurses’ aides, who with school closings, face a choice between leaving their children unsupervised or losing their jobs.
Thanks to individuals like you, New Destiny has addressed the needs of survivors and families for safe homes for 26 years. Our dedicated staff has shown that we will continue to meet their needs during this crisis, and we will continue to keep you updated as the situation evolves.
Please keep domestic violence survivors and New Destiny’s work in mind as you think about how you can make a difference during this challenging time. Your support will help us to continue to provide critically needed services during this crisis.
Wishing you and your loved ones health and safety,