Current Updates and Information

Dated 3/27/2020

In an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), The Arc of Monroe suspended operations of our site-based day programs, including community habilitation, recreation, and pre-vocational program on March 17th, 202. For the safety of people we support in our residential homes, OPWDD has directed the temporary suspension of individual community outings and home visits. Essential personnel are permitted entry into residential homes for the direct care and support to people who live there.

In the event an individual and their family agree that a long-term home visit is appropriate, such an extended visit should be encouraged. Families should be reminded that, while a restriction on the return of the individual to the residence is expected to be temporary, we are unable to provide an exact date on which this restriction will be lifted. Providers should strive to ensure that families are prepared to meet the needs of their loved ones at home, including having an adequate supply of medication, for an extended period of time.

Messages from Leadership

A message from Barbara Wale
President / CEO at The Arc of Monroe

March 24, 2020

I hope you and your family are doing well.  

I wanted to give you a glimpse of what we have been doing at The Arc of Monroe over the past week. On Saturday, March 14th, the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was announced in Monroe County. On Sunday, public schools were closed, and Governor Cuomo announced that New York State was declared a state of emergency. While awaiting guidance from New York State and OPWDD, The Arc of Monroe decided to move ahead with suspending our day habilitation, community habilitation, pre-vocational, and recreational programs until further notice. Since then, The Arc of Monroe has turned its attention to support the 204 people living in 30 residential homes 

Last week, our operations team was in full force making sure that we had protocols in place for the safety of those we support and those that support themOur Education and Training department provided a half day refresher for employees that worked in other areas of our operation, so that they would be able to provide support to our residential homes. Our direct support team from day hab programs have been able to bring fun, creative ways to stay active and busy into the homes. They are enjoying music and art lessons, crafts, board games, pajama days, and baking challenges from one house to another. To stay active, our recreation specialists have been visiting with badminton rackets and balloons, bowling, and exercise routines. Our behavior team has been supporting our residents and staff through emails, phone calls and video chat when possible by providing tools such as social stories to help educate everyone on what is going on and why it is so important to stay home.  

We have embraced technology to create routine and keep people connected, instructors from our pre-vocational services SELF at the Strong and Adult Project SEARCH will be offering some online learning opportunities for the people in those programs. The school-based teachers from LifePrep@Naz and MCC Experience are making online learning that they are presenting to the school-aged students available to the adults should they want to participate. Staff from Job Path have continued to provide support to people working in essential jobs in the community. In addition, Job Path staff are supporting our residential program and working at ArcWorksArcWorks continues to run as an essential business, as such, is helping to provide manufacturing products needed for COVID-19 and the critical needs in the community.  

Clinicians are now offering their services through TeleMedThis time can be especially difficult for people we support. Now more than ever, we want to be sure people are aware that we offer social work services, and no PPD is required.  

Specialists at our day habilitation programs have been creating videos to keep in touch with people who normally attend program. You willl start to be seeing more and more YouTube videos and Facebook posts with art, music, and dance snippets. 

We would love for you to share any ideas about how we can help stay connected during this time of uncertainty. Please feel free to email with these ideas or with general questions.  


Barbara Wale
The Arc of Monroe

Community Resources

COVID-19 Resource List: 

If you feel you have symptoms of COVID-19, it is critical that you call your primary care doctor FIRST, before going to the hospital. If you do not have a primary care doctor, please call the Monroe County Coronavirus Hotline at 585-753-5555. 

1. Monroe Co. Dept. of Public HealthCOVID-19 Hotline: (585)753-5555, or you can email

  • With the first cases of COVID-19 confirmed here in Monroe County, we all need to take measures to help prevent infection.
  • First, it is important to stay informed on a regular basis. Information and guidance related to COVID-19 changes daily. We are continually updating the resources below to provide easy access to accurate, timely information.
  • Second, if you are experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath, call your healthcare provider. Do not visit your doctor’s office or an emergency room without calling first so staff members can take appropriate precautions.
  • Referral Process: If you do not have a health care provider, contact the Monroe County Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 hotline or email: PHONE: (585) 753-5555 or EMAIL: 

    2. Monroe Co. NY Connects/No Wrong Door: 325-2800 

    • NY Connects: Choices for Long Term Care is a free information and assistance service that is available to individuals and their families to help them make better decisions regarding their long term care needs. Advisors are experienced social workers who provide information, guidance and referral on an array of topics including Housing, Chores, Personal care, Transportation, Adult day care, Respite, Guardianship, Support groups, Nursing home placement, Medicaid, Benefits, Mental health counseling, Home health care, Socialization and nutrition, Geriatric physician referral.
    • Caregiver services
    • Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly (EISEP)
    • Home Delivered Meals & Congregate Meal sites/Senior Centers
    • Chronic Disease Self-Management & Falls Prevention Programs
    • Referral Process: Contact Monroe Co. NY Connects for information or referrals to all programs & services 585-325-2800 

    3. Office of Mental Health (OMH) –Single Point of Access (SPOA), Monroe Co.: , (585)753-2874 

    • SPOA is designed to assist with all residential and care related questions to support persons w/ MH & behavioral health needs 
    • SPOA applications on-line to apply for OMH residential housing, Health Homes services and Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) services.
    • Referral Process: Contact SPOA (585)753-2874 for referral/questions about care management & housing. 

     4. Mental Health Association, (585)325-3145 

    • The Mental Health Association promotes lasting mental wellness in our community through a diverse spectrum of educational programming, service referrals, and individual assistance to those seeking to find—and maintain—wellness.
    • Creative Wellness Opportunities, Life Skills Services and Self Help Drop In Center Service programs are working to create virtual workshops and events for our community. As these events are scheduled, more information will be posted on MHA’s website and on social media. 
    • For those in need of our Family Support Services and Home Community Based Services, MHA is still taking referrals and delivering services via tele-mental health. If you are unable to connect due to existing technology resources, please let them know, as they have been working with their agency partners to provide the resources necessary to avoid isolation and reduce anxiety.
    • Referral Process: Services are available to everyone who needs them: no referral, diagnosis, or insurance necessary. 

    5. Rochester Housing Authority: 

    • Free and low-cost Internet (and other) offerings for HUD-assisted residents during this COVID-19 crisis are available.  For more information, click here: PDF
    • RHA is a public agency that provides subsidized housing to low-and-moderate income individuals and families. A resident's rent in the public housing program is subsidized by the federal government through funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. To participate in the public housing program, applicants must be income eligible and residents must adhere to program rules.
    • Qualification Guidelines
    • Application: 

    6. Monroe County Dept. of Human Services (DHS) Office:, (585)753-6296, (585)753-6298 – Financial Assistance; DHS COVID-19 info Page: 

    • In an effort to reduce walk-in traffic into local Social Service District offices and ease access to public benefit programs during the current state of emergency, face-to-face interviews for Public Assistance are suspended through April 11.   
    • Effective with applications received after March 16, 2020, they will move to phone interviews for Public Assistance eligibility determinations. This includes applications for Emergency Assistance and Temporary Housing Assistance.  Applicants already scheduled for in person interviews the week of March 16 can contact us at 753-6960 if they would like to move to a phone interview.  
    • New applications received after March 16 will be scheduled for a phone interview. Applicants can drop off, mail or fax 585-753-5315 new Temporary Assistance (2921) applications to the Agency. The application should clearly mark what programs the applicant is applying for and include a valid phone number. Applications received without phone numbers will continue to be scheduled for face-to-face interviews. After the phone interview, applicants will be mailed a document requirement form with instructions to submit required documents to the agency by a designated due date.  
    • DHS Financial Assistance:
      • Temporary Assistance
      • SNAP
      • HEAP
      • Medicaid
      • Funeral/Burial Assistance
      • Homeless Services
      • Day Care Subsidies
      • And more… 
    • For additional information, call 2-1-1 

    7. Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) FRONT DOOR, Finger Lakes Region: 1-855-679-3335:  

    • OPWDD has been approaching COVID-19 on multiple fronts including emergency preparedness and response, health and safety, policy development, training, field work and funding. The agency’s Emergency Operations Center has personnel from across the state with expertise in crisis response, public health, data management, IT, and logistics working to maintain the continued delivery of OPWDD services while protecting the safety and security of the people we support. In the interest of containing the spread of COVID-19, OPWDD has provided our staff and providers with numerous sets of guidance related to visitation and site visits, the delivery of telehealth and other essential services, and infection control. In addition, we have taken the additional step of suspending all site-based day habilitation, pre-vocational and day training services. 
    • OPWDD Front Door will:
      • Determine OPWDD service eligibility for individuals with I/DD
      • Assign a Front Door Facilitator
      • Help to develop a primary plan
      • Make an Authorization Decision about services 
    • Referral Process: Phone call to Front Door 1-855-679-3335 for all referrals, preferably by individual seeking eligibility determination or support. 

     8. Monroe Housing Collaborative:, (585)445-5699 

    • Collaboration between Al Sigl Community of Agencies, CP Rochester & Epilepsy Pralid
    • Non-certified and independent housing options within Monroe County.
    • Throughout Monroe County, there is a lack of residential properties that meet the needs of individuals with disabilities®. Using the combined resources of our experienced partners, we create comfortable housing options for members of our community with special requirements.
    • MHC is your local resource — providing useful housing information and expanding residential opportunities for those living with disabilities®.
    • By gathering detailed information on their living preferences, we transform the way people with disabilities® make their housing and related support needs known. MHC understands the financial and personal requirements of individuals in Monroe County, and we are committed to developing and identifying housing that suits people of all abilities. 

    9. 211 LifeLine or 1-877-356-9211Text: 89821 

    • 211 Life Line FingerLakes is the Official Site for Resources in Cayuga, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca Counties, NY 
    • Looking for Children’s early screening for developmental challenges? GROW is a resource for any 3-year-old child for screening within the City of Rochester / Monroe County Homeless? Need help? Need help or want to help the effort to end homelessness?
    • 211/LIFE LINE, a mission program of Goodwill of the Finger Lakes, and is an accredited program through the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems, American Association of Suicidology, and CONTACT USA for Online Emotional Support.
    • 211/LIFE LINE is here for everyone, every day, anytime. Community members get connected with experienced telecounselors by simply dialing 211 for free and confidential assistance connecting to vital services within the community. When you need help locating basic resources (like food, clothing, shelter) or need crisis stabilization for yourself or someone you know, we’re here to listen and here to help.
    • Due to the high volume of calls during the day, they are asking if people can call after 5pm, they have people answering the phone 24/7 or text/visit the website. 

     10. Representative Joseph Morelle:, (585) 232-4850 

    • Website has a list of meal distributions and other resources.
    • To submit a question for our televised Town Hall event with Monroe County Executive Bello and Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mike Mendoza, airing live on WHAM (Channel 13) Tuesday, March 31 at 7 PM, click here. 

    11. Activities to help with the long days and nights: 

     12. Medical Information for Children 

    13. Employment: 

    • The county is also working with RochesterWorksto help connect employers who are hiring with workers who have found themselves out of a job because of the outbreak. Employers are encouraged to You can also call 585-258-3500. 

    14. Internet: 

    15. RG&  

    • Critical Contact - Our enhanced texting service provides you a convenient and easy way to communicate with us during a storm. This opportunity allows us to text you in preparation for a storm and to make sure you are safe. Please ensure we have your mobile phone number on file so we can reach you. Please provide us your mobile phone number by calling 585.771.6881 Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or email us
    • Assistance with bills during financial hardships - If you or a member of your household relies on life-sustaining equipment, please let us know. If you need electrical service to operate life support equipment, we require the following:
      • Documentation showing you are not financially able to pay your bill (we will then request a medical certificate from your physician).
      • Notification every three months that you are unable to pay and your continuing need to operate life-sustaining equipment. 
    • The last thing we want to do is shut off your electricity and natural gas service for nonpayment. If you are having difficulty paying your bill, please call us at 877.266.3492 (Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., excluding holidays). The sooner you call, the sooner we can work together on a solution. Here are a few of the services we have to assist you.

    16. COVID -19 Resources for Families: 

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