Current Updates and Information Related to COVID-19
Messages from Leadership
May 15th, 2020
Dear Arc Family,
We hope that you are well and are taking time for yourselves to enjoy some fresh spring air!
As we enter into the weekend and are glad that the Finger Lakes Region is now in Phase One today, we are mindful that now, more than ever, we cannot let our guard down. All who are going back to work are now opening up their homes to more exposure. The Arc of Monroe is continuing the same safety protocols as we have been. We are only allowing essential staff into residential homes, and residents are restricted from going into the community. This includes friends and family. We realize this is a difficult, for people we support and their loved ones; yet it is important that we contain the spread of the virus. We continue to wear masks and keep at least 6 feet between others, and we encourage all of our community to do the same.
While our focus and communication has primarily been on residential services, today I wanted to provide you with updates on the other services that we are currently running at this point. We have been grateful that we can continue to provide these to the people that we support.
Arc Health Services continues to provide extremely valuable services to the individuals we support. Social work, Nutrition, Speech therapy, and Psychiatry services are continuing their ongoing therapy services utilizing telehealth. Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy services are being provided safely in person on a limited basis. OT’s and PT’s who cannot provide their hands on therapy are continuing to follow up indirectly with individuals to monitor their needs. The clinic even has social work groups running to allow people to be even more connected. We are providing services for 500 people and for some, this weekly check in with their clinician is the only support they have. Clinicians continue to provide their excellent, person centered care in a time when it is needed most. The outstanding dedication of our clinicians to ensure the well-being of those who are struggling at this time is an incredible asset to the agency as well as the community!
Job Path has been developing opportunities for people to participate in small group virtual job clubs focused on helping them keep their employment skills sharp and to help them stay connected. In spite of so many layoffs, several people we support remain employed in essential jobs and a few people have been hired into businesses that are currently operating i.e., Price Rite, Walmart, Top’s, McAlpin Industries, Kimco and Rochester Regional Health.
Community Habilitation continues to provide services on a part-time basis to people supported. The team has been creative in its use of telehealth, telephonic, and in-person strategies, taking all required safety precautions of social distancing! This has enabled the Community Support Professionals to stay in touch with people living in the community who need ongoing support – whether it’s making sure there is food in the house, medications are being taken, or meeting social needs.
Family Support Services has continued full-time providing Family Reimbursement services. This allows families to cover costs for expenses that they normally might not be able to afford – everything from classes, supports, or medical and adaptive equipment not covered by insurance.
Our FIs (Fiscal Intermediaries) and Support Brokers continue to provide Self-Direction services to enrolled people supported and their families. They continue to connect with care coordinators and provide self-hire respite/community habilitation services if people and families are willing and in need of services. As with our Community Habilitation program, our team has been creative in finding effective means of connecting with people supported and ensuring that needs continue to be addressed.
Our Health Homes care managers have been working at 100% and moving full-speed-ahead! With so many people facing medical issues, their services have been crucial. The team continues to work under Department of Health guidelines to ensure people enrolled are engaging with their PCPs and attending to their physical and mental health needs.
Day Habilitation and Pre-Vocational Programs
Currently, we are waiting for more information and guidance from New York State and OPWDD as to when we may be able to open our Day Habilitation services and our Pre-Vocational services (Adult Project SEARCH, ArcWorks, Culinary Career Prep, LifePrep@Naz, MCC Experience, and SELF at The Strong). At this point, we are not sure which phase our programs fall into. This said, we have begun conversations about how our services may run in the future. If you are struggling and need additional support at home, please reach out to your Day Habilitation Manager.
If you have any questions or would like to leave a comment or a note, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'd like to end my email by sharing with you some photos of the "May the 4th be with you" festivities and Nurse's Week. We are so grateful to all of them, all of our staff, and all of you, who continue to weather this storm together!
The Arc of Monroe
Dear Arc Family,
I hope you have been well, and have been enjoying the sun and warmth as we smell the spring flowers, hear the buzz of lawn mowers, and see people outside for walks. Here at The Arc, we have been doing all of these things, and being thankful, even when COVID-19 has posed its challenges.
As we come together to fight this unprecedented pandemic, I am continually impressed by the resilience, professionalism and dedication of all of our staff. In this uncharted territory, I find strength in the dedication and conviction of the caregivers I have the privilege to work alongside all of them. In the face of this pandemic, we will continue to serve the needs of our community, and we will not waver in our commitment to those we serve.
This week is Nurse’s Week, and we are so thankful to our RNs, LPNs, and Medical Liaisons who are so committed to the health and safety of the people we support! We are confident our positive COVID numbers are so low because of what they are doing!
I am grateful to the community’s outpouring of support for the many acts of kindness that have been demonstrated in supporting the Arc of Monroe. Some of which include making homemade masks, making meals and donating PPE equipment. It is often in times of crisis that our humanity, resilience and compassion shine brightest.
May is Mental Health Month, and although raising awareness to the importance of mental health has always been important to our agency, it seems even more prevalent and relevant to stress even more, right now, as we live and work through the challenges, changes, and impact COVID-19 is having on us all.
I’d like to share with you one activity that we are doing throughout the month, called Meaningful May. It includes 31 actions to look after ourselves and each other as we face this global crisis together. Click here to download the calendar.
If you haven’t already seen them, please check out the videos that our staff have put together, that anyone can do from home. You will find the following on our YouTube channel: Pound Fitness video; Movement & Stretching videos; and Zumba video.
In our homes, people have been enjoying planting, sending and receiving letters from pen pals, and making chalk drawings in our driveways. Below are some photos taken in our residential homes over the last several weeks.
I hope that you are staying well. If you have any questions, or would like to send a note of appreciation to our staff, please email email@example.com.
We are strong. We are resilient. We are in this together.
The Arc of Monroe
Good Evening Valued Staff,
As we come together to fight this unprecedented pandemic, I am continually impressed by the resilience, professionalism and dedication of all of our staff, Without their selfless commitment to serving others, we would not be able to weather this crisis.
I would like to recognize and thank the many departments across our agency for all they are doing during this pandemic, Arc Works, Employment Services, Community Habitation, Transpiration, Facilities, Human Resources, Finance, Family Support, Behavior Support, Health Homes, Self-Direction, Quality/Compliance, IT, Training/Education, Clinic, Outreach and Enrollment, Communication/Foundation, Administration. Your continued commitment and support to ensure that our day to day operations remain our top priority is mazing and makes us stronger together. I am humble and thankful for all of you.
The pandemic poses the greatest risk to the most vulnerable members of our community; which includes many of the people we support. There are hundreds of front line staff within our organization supporting our residential program and community programs who are doing heroic work to help the people we support remain safe and well. Their efforts are more critical than ever and they need our support. I would also like to extend my deepest thank you and appreciation to our operational leadership team. Your hard work around the clock goes unnoticed and I am forever grateful for the work you are doing to ensure that our day to day operations remain consistent and whole.
I also send my prayers and positive thoughts to the people we support at Crossroads and several of our staff who have tested positive these past few weeks. Please know that we are all thinking of you and hope that you feel better soon.
Despite these dire circumstances, I remain optimistic and proud. The staff at the Arc of Monroe, from our diligent direct support professionals, our leaders and to our expert medical team, are all working incredibly hard to ensure we are doing everything in our power to care for the people we support. Your early actions and quick flexibility gave the Arc of Monroe the best chance to manage this crisis. I am especially impressed by the ongoing collaboration, because it shows how much we are capable of accomplishing together. This work is highly valued and deeply appreciated, both within our walls and beyond.
In this unchartered territory, I find strength in the dedication and conviction of the caregivers I have the privilege to work alongside all of you. Providing outstanding care and hard work across our agency in a time like this is exactly why we chose careers in human services. In the face of this pandemic, we will continue to serve the needs of our community, and we will not waver in our commitment to those we serve.
I am grateful to the community’s outpouring of support for the many acts of kindness that have been demonstrated in supporting the Arc of Monroe. Some of which include making home made masks, making meals and donating PPE equipment. It is often in times of crisis that our humanity, resilience and compassion shine brightest.
Please continue to be safe and do your part to protect each other, the people we support and your families. If you have any flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches or shortness of breath, please stay home. When you are not at work please continue to follow social distancing and follow universal precautions. I know that as human services workers we have a tendency to ignore symptoms, and work through them, so that we do not let the team down. This is the time that I implore you not to do so.
Thank you for your commitment and dedication to the people we support and families that depend on us during this challenging time.
Hello Arc Family,
I hope you are well.
It is hard to believe that just a month ago, the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was announced in Monroe County. The Arc of Monroe has shown resiliency during these unprecedented times, and now more than ever, I am proud to lead this agency through this very challenging time.
We are pleased to say that at this time, there have been no other positive COVID-19 tests from anyone we support or staff. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the staff member who is who was tested positive on April 4th and is continuing to recover.
Despite these uncertain times, there are so many reasons to be thankful. We are fortunate to have an excellent nursing team who been working with leadership throughout the agency, rolling out and universal safety, cleaning, and medical guidelines, in direct correlation to the CDC and DOH. Our leadership team meets every single day to review any new information that comes to light regard to COVID-19 and quickly implements strategies across the agency. The perseverance and fortitude that our staff has shown since the very beginning is remarkable, and also not surprising. Every single person who comes to work every day does it because they genuinely care about the people we support. This is a true testament to the values of excellence, integrity, and empathy that each staff member holds.
Likewise, people we are supporting in our residential homes show just as much resiliency, as is not always easy to understand and embrace the changes going on in the world. They are trying new things like Zumba, recipes, cooking challenges, and pen pals. The first week of April was “spirit week,” and each day had a different theme: tie-dye, Disney, crazy hair, mismatch, and sports day. Click here to see some online resources that our day hab instructors have shared across the agency.
In our employment-based programs, we have embraced technology to create routine and keep people connected. Instructors from our SELF at the Strong and Adult Project SEARCH have been offering some online learning covering topics such as “how to be an effective communicator” and “how to be safe in a workplace setting.” Our LifePrep@Naz and MCC Experience programs have focused some of their online learning around work readiness and social skills building. Click here to see the featured story that appeared on Nazareth College’s website, featuring a story about LifePrep@Naz.
Staff from Job Path continue to provide support to people working in essential jobs doing food prep, environmental services and phlebotomy in hospital environments. They are working on: tray lines and in kitchens preparing food as well as cleaning in senior living facilities. In grocery stores and other retail businesses, they are doing restocking work with general merchandise and produce, sanitizing carts and completing maintenance responsibilities. People are also working in production and in gas stations doing customer service, cleaning gas pumps and doing maintenance.
In addition, Job Path staff are supporting our residential program and ArcWorks production.
Our Outreach and Enrollment team has done a fantastic job gathering community resources to help with issues such as: mental health, employment, caregiver, internet, gas and electric, medical, housing, and senior resources. Click here to view these resources.
The safety and well-being of the people we support and our staff members have always been our top priority, ensuring that we:
As I think about each and every person we support, it brings me much comfort to know that we as The Arc of Monroe continue to be fierce supporters and advocates for them. We will continue to do that with each and every new scenario may unfold. I am grateful for the teamwork and collaboration and for your support in weathering this storm together with us.
We are strong. We are resilient. We are all in this together.
April 10, 2020
Dear Chapter Staff and Volunteers,
It seems every day lately we are bombarded with new regulations and new challenges to respond to. Today, we want to set all those aside for a moment, and offer a message of hope and gratitude.
We are facing a global crisis like none of us have seen in our lifetimes. We each the burden of our own unique pressures, responsibilities and fears as we try to navigate these extraordinary circumstances. Yet, we also all each carry our own unique strengths, solutions and skills into this battle. Over the past few weeks, we have seen that strength and perseverance multiplied by the thousands across The Arc New York, unifying us into a resilient force that we have grown prouder than ever to lead.
Our membership committee, with the help of Livingston-Wyoming's Graphic Manager Amy Woodhouse, created the beautiful image below to illustrate the motto "stronger together." The logo exemplifies how each and every one of you play a role in realizing our mission. We invite you to use this image to celebrate the both people who make The Arc New York what it is, and our strength in unity.
We are proving every day that we are stronger together. In the face of this crisis, in thousands of homes across the state, dedicated direct support professionals are finding new ways to keep people connected, supported and thriving. In many Chapters, individuals are learning new skills, sewing cloth masks and assembling face shields. Each mask sewn keeps someone safe. Each mask sewn combats our sense of helplessness and empowers people we support to be part of the solution.
We have Chapters setting up temporary emergency recuperation sites, building places of healing for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to recover from COVID-19 in a safe and supported environment. Their staff are donning gowns, goggles, shields, masks, and gloves to deliver a critical level of care we never anticipated. We have Chapters offering to deploy staff from unaffected areas into the front lines of the most severely impacted regions - staff who are willing to put themselves at risk to provide relief and service where it is needed most.
Chapters are producing and hand sanitizer and COVID-19 test kits, allocating their resources and expertise to this fight. Convoys of delivery trucks have convened at the State Office and carried desperately needed personal protective equipment to every county in the state to keep our people safe.
Executive Directors are connecting day after day to collaborate on best practices and effective responses. Advocates are fighting for our staff, the people we support, and our system of services in regular conversations with state leadership. We are telling our stories in the media to bring the unique challenges of our field into the public dialogue. Chapters are sharing ideas to help individuals keep learning and growing. Families are being supported in connecting remotely. Staff are becoming surrogate family, providing emotional support, laughter and community. Parties and dances that could have been cancelled have been held simultaneously in dozens of living rooms. At one home, staff even affixed big cartoon grins to their N95 masks after residents told them they missed seeing their smiles.
Thousands of rainbows are springing up in windows, each proud artist sending a colorful message of hope into their community. Each rainbow a symbol of the magic that emerges from a storm.
For many, this week is a time of faith and tradition. For others, spring itself is a symbol of renewal. Today, our traditions may look different, and our communities may be strained, but as we reflect on our collective power to rise above this challenge, have faith. Together we are The Arc New York, and together we will emerge from this storm, more determined and connected than before.
Mark van Voorst
To my fellow colleagues,
COVID-19 is impacting everyone around the world and every aspect of our daily lives: our social interactions, our family life, our communities, and, of course, how all of us work at The Arc of Monroe. I want to share my deepest thanks to each of you for the creative and collaborative ways you have stepped up to support the Arc of Monroe during this crisis. It’s times like this that remind us that each of us has something to contribute and the importance of coming together as a community. Please know that the senior leadership team and I are thinking about you and prioritizing the health and safety of the people we support, you and your families first and foremost. We are meeting and working each day on how we can best support you during this time. And it’s been so gratifying to see how you are pitching in to help.
It is in times of great disruption and uncertainty that our ability to stay grounded in our sense of purpose and remain true to our identity is of the utmost importance. I’ve reflected on this as I’ve seen the great work across our agency and around our community in the past several weeks.
We are steadfast in our mission to empower every person to do their very best. No one entity is going to solve a challenge like this alone, and it’s going to take every single person working together to turn the tide on COVID-19. During this extraordinary time, it is clear that software has a huge role to play across every industry and around the world. Our responsibility is to ensure that the tools we provide are up to the task. We’re seeing many people in our agency adopt Microsoft 365 platform tools including Teams to enable our employees to work remotely, while staying productive, collaborative, and fostering a sense of community. We are seeing staff working with people we support to learn the technology to be able to connect with family and friends. This is so important to stay connected.
We are in uncharted territory. Much is unknown, and I know how unsettling and uncertain this feels. Like many of you, there have been times over the past weeks where it has felt overwhelming and all-encompassing for me. I worry about the health and safety of my family, my co-workers, and friends. I see the struggle in our local community, and around the world, the empty streets and restaurants, and I wonder when our social fabric will be restored.
One truth that brings me comfort is just as this virus has no borders, its cure will have no borders. We are all in this together. For me, the best way I’ve found to get past this anxiety is to focus on what I can do each day to make a small difference. Each of us, wherever we are, has the opportunity to do the same – take an action driven by hope, a small step that makes things a bit better. And if everyone does something that makes the world a bit better, our collective work will in fact make the world a lot better, for the people we serve, the people we love, for our communities, for our society.
I am proud every day to work at Arc of Monroe and count all of you as my colleagues, together we are stronger.
Stay safe and healthy,
Chief Operating Officer
The Arc of Monroe
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 them. Our 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 ArcWorks. ArcWorks 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 TeleMed. This 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with these ideas or with general questions.
The Arc of Monroe
If you are looking for resources in the Monroe County area to assist you and your loved ones during this time of COVID-19, please see the list below. Thank you.
Phone: 211 or 1-877-356-9211
- 211 Life Line FingerLakes LifeLineFingerLakes.com 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.
At home activities: https://autismup.org/classes/home-with-autismup
- During this unprecedented global crisis, your local autism support organization is here to help decrease the isolation our 2,500 families are feeling every day. We will stay connected and engaged with you, utilizing technology and creativity. And, everything we are offering to support individuals and families during this challenging time is provided free of charge. We are all in this together, and together we will fly strong.
- It’s important to keep up on sensory, social, readiness and fitness skills while you can't be in programs at AutismUp, so we'll be sharing a daily activity, link, app, or video for you to try while you're home! Daily activities will vary and will be applicable to a broad range of age groups. We hope you will find something you'd like to try!
- To subscribe to receive our daily activity emails, please click here.Check out the daily archive below.
- Subscribeto the AU YouTube channel for Fitness, Music and Activity videos.
- If you need support, our Family Navigatorsare available to help. Click here to learn more and schedule a call.
Announcing Caregiver Connections—Virtual Family Meetings Parent to Parent of NYS will be hosting on-line Zoom* Parent Group Meetings!
- Now, more than ever, we need to take care of ourselves. Parent to Parent of NYS is committed to help you through these challenging times. These group meetings are for parents of children with developmental disabilities and/or special health care needs. The purpose of these groups is to foster a non-judgmental and encouraging environment that connects parents. We hope parents will share their tips and advice on various topics and situations with each other. Please see the upcoming dates and times and register to join:
April 16, 2020, 5:30 PM Register in advance for this meeting: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/uZEkcu-tqzIuzowwiAfFrwCFEA1W0h3HXQ
April 21, 2020, 02:30 PM Register in advance for this meeting: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/uJYud-CorDkvj8FUjHaGEJaPS7TRavANww
April 30, 2020, 05:30 PM Register in advance for this meeting: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/v5Mrc-yqpzktaSH2WNDt0TtpkeAAdst2og
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Please share as appropriate. We look forward to seeing you then!
If you have questions, please email: email@example.com
- Text4Caregivers is a FREE text service that distributes timely and relevant self-care and stress-management support via text messaging.
- The messages come a few times a week, and are simply gentle reminders that YOU matter, YOUR needs are just as important as your family’s needs. Resources and information on how to deal with additional stress of the coronavirus are sent as well.
- To join, just click on the link below. https://platform.trumpia.com/onlineSignup/ddpctext/text4caregivers
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID 19) Information (in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID 19) Frequently Asked Questions (in English, Spanish, and Chinese): http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprepare%2Fchildren-faq.html
- Family Voices Coronavirus Information and Resources: https://familyvoices.org/coronavirus/
- COVID-19: Information for Families of Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs from healthychildren.org (American Academy of Pediatrics): https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/chest-lungs/Pages/COVID-19-Information-for-Families-of-Children-and-Youth-with-Special-Health-Care-Needs.aspx?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=COVID-19%3A%20Information%20for%20Families%20of%20Children%20and%20Youth%20with%20Special%20Health%20Care%20Needs&utm_campaign=2020.03.27_CSHCN_Network_Newsletter_Special_Edition
- Social Stories on COVID-19:
- The Autism Educator: “What is the Coronavirus?”: http://www.familyvoicesofca.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/The-Corona-Virus-Free-Printable-Updated-2-The-Autism-Educator-.pdf
- Carol Gray Social Stories: “My Story About Pandemics and Coronavirus”: https://carolgraysocialstories.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Pandemics-and-the-Coronavirus.pdf
- Plain Language Information on Coronavirus: For people with disabilities, by people with disabilities· English: https://selfadvocacyinfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Plain-Language-Public Information-on-Coronavirus.pdf Spanish: https://selfadvocacyinfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Spanish-Plain-Language-Information-on-Coronavirus.pdf
- What Do People with Disabilities Need to Know About Coronavirus?: https://acl.gov/COVID-19
- Ten COVID-19 Preparations to do RIGHT NOW for Medically Complex Families: https://complexchild.org/articles/covid/covid-preparations/
- NYS on Pause from the NYS Department of Health: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home
- New York State of Health Marketplace-Special enrollment period for uninsured individuals to purchase health insurance to ease COVID 19 fears. Empire Plan, Medicaid and Child Health Plus are continuous enrollment: https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov/
- Protecting the People We Support- statements and guidance from OPWDD: https://opwdd.ny.gov/coronavirus-guidance
- Corona Virus and its impact on Public Benefit Programs from BenefitsPlus Learning Center: https://cssny.s3.amazonaws.com/system/files/uploads/Coronavirus_-_Impact_of_on_Public_Benefits.pdf
- Paid Family Leave- Paid Family Leave can be used by an eligible employee if they, or their minor dependent child, are subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation: https://paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/paid-family-leave-family-care
- COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline 1-844-863-9314 free counseling to anyone who needs it during this time
- The county is also working with RochesterWorks! to help connect employers who are hiring with workers who have found themselves out of a job because of the outbreak. Employers are encouraged to visit MonroeCounty.gov/Works. You can also call 585-258-3500.
- www.spectrum.net , (855) 243-8892. If you are not currently a Spectrum customer and need reliable internet for your student at home, you may be able to access it at home. Check here for information: https://www.spectrum.net/support/internet/coronavirus-internet-offer-students/
- Comcast is offering internet options for those impacted by the school shutdown across the nation if they need access to the internet. Check here for more info: https://corporate.comcast.com/covid-19. Comcast Announces Comprehensive COVID-19 Response to Help Keep Americans Connected to the Internet. Company Opens Xfinity WiFi Network Nationally for Free, Offers Unlimited Data for Free, Confirms Its Commitment to Connecting Low-Income Families On the heels of offering new, low-income Internet Essentials customers two months of free internet and raising the speed of that program’s service to 25 ...corporate.comcast.com
Lifespan: https://www.lifespan-roch.org/lifespan-covid19, 585-244-8400, M-F, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
- Offering virtual caregiver support webinars, and a “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” classes virtually, in April. check out events and classes: https://www.lifespanrochester.org/new-events/or call 585-287-6398 for information.
- Lifespan is able to assist people 60+ living in Monroe County with obtaining:
- Emergency box of food staples from Foodlink.Lifespan is taking requests for delivery of food boxes. Boxes are delivered to older adults on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at no cost. Delivery personnel cannot enter the home.
- Specific grocery items for people 60+.
If you are able to pay by check, Lifespan can assist with some limited grocery shopping and deliver those items to your door.
Article - Caregivers May Be Eligible For Paid Leave Under COVID-19 Relief Law: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/06/2020-07237/paid-leave-under-the-families-first-coronavirus-response-act
- Coronavirus Information - Golisano Children's Hospital - Rochester NY - University of Rochester Medical Center: Coronavirus Information for Families A message from Dr. Patrick Brophy, Chair - Department of Pediatrics “We care for our patients, our families, and ourselves – and those roles are magnified during this time of rapid adaptation.” www.urmc.rochester.edu
- 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.
(585) 753-5555, or you can email COVID19@monroecounty.gov
- 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: COVID19@monroecounty.gov
- 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
- Funeral/Burial Assistance
- Homeless Services
- Day Care Subsidies
- And more…
- For additional information, call 2-1-1
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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 at Criticalcontact@rge.com.
- 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.
- 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: https://www.rochesterhousing.org/qualification-guidelines
- Application: https://www.rochesterhousing.org/apply
- Seniorcareauthority.com (585)666-3040
- Provides No Cost Consulting to Families Coping With Care Needs During Sheltering in Place
- To best help families cope in this trying time, Senior Care Authority is thankful to be able to offer a one-hour free consultation to any family that is trying to make decisions or explore options for their loved ones. In addition, if families are in need of local home caregiving needs, the company will assist with vetting in-home care agencies and caregivers to ensure they are the right fit for the particular situation. For more information and to connect with an eldercare expert in your area, visit Seniorcareauthority.com
Activities & Resources
Art from Home
Online Art Games
Art Museum Tours/Resources
Music Game Online/ Make Music Online
Movement from Home
Online Chair Workouts
Science and Current Events Websites
Science from Home
Zoom House Party
Audible has free books to listen to online
Virtual Tours (Parks, Zoo, Farms)
The Arc of Monroe’s Self Advocacy group, the Arc Alliance is run by and for the people we support. Each month, we discuss topics that help us learn how to become better advocates for ourselves and how we collectively can use our voices to impact change in the community. Some of our recent meetings have included a lesson on HIPAA rights, a conversation with Brighton Town Supervisor Bill Moehle, as well as our personal goals and “bucket lists.” All staff and people we support are welcome to join on us on zoom the fourth Thursday of every month.
Next Meeting: Thursday 5/28 at 11:30am
https://zoom.us/j/94952383507 Meeting ID: 949 5238 3507
Roc PrideAbility is for people with disabilities who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s an informal and social group that connects people with each other and provides a safe, inclusive space. While we typically meet at the Out Alliance, Equal Grounds, and in other places throughout the community, we are continuing to meet monthly on zoom at 3:30pm on the second Tuesday of every month.
Next Meeting: Tuesday, 6/9 at 3:30pm
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/4103256315 Meeting ID: 410 325 6315 Password: 2060
SANYS- The Self Advocacy Association of New York State connects self-advocacy groups in each region. The Western and Finger Lakes region host many events throughout the week to help people connect, learn, and ask questions.
Tuesdays 4pm: Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82831851943 Meeting ID: 828 3185 1943
Wednesdays 1pm-3pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/209850037 Meeting ID: 209 850 037
Fridays 1pm-3pm: https://zoom.us/j/477357603 Meeting ID: 477 357 603
Please email Brian Potvin, firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Questions or Comments? Please complete the form below.
Interested in Giving?
There are many ways to help The Arc of Monroe during these trying times.
One way is our "Dining Out at Home" program. Prepare your favorite meal, and deliver it to the people in one of our residential homes, or order a meal in from your favorite restaurant. This would be a delight to the people in our homes!
Click here to deliver a meal.
A second way is to help cover the costs accrued due to the need for extra personal protective equipment, including masks, gowns, and gloves If you would like to make a donation, we would greatly appreciate it. Click here to make a donation.