A MESSAGE FROM OUR CEO KATHLEEN DURKIN
ORGANIZATIONAL UPDATES (As of 3/26)
Due to the continued closure of Maryland Public Schools and further evidence that the Coronavirus is still spreading, The Arc Baltimore’s day programs, Administrative Headquarters in Towson and Seton Employment Center will remain closed through April 24th except for essential staff.
This remains a very difficult time for all of us. There are hundreds of stories of heroics to maintain our vital services that continue, to keep connected with those we support who are displaced from their jobs, and to ensure that basic needs are met within our Arc community.
It is more important than ever that we maintain social distancing and avoid group gatherings. Because The Arc Baltimore is considered an essential business, we are continuing supports for many but must continue to suspend others. Please see the following programmatic updates:
Will remain closed through April 24th.
24/7 supports continue for 70+ homes and drop-in assistance to people in 30+ additional homes. Because we don’t normally have staff in the homes during the day because people are working or attending day programs, our direct support professionals normally at work in our day centers are providing the additional support needed in the homes.
Family Living/personal supports
Assistance to people in their families’ homes continues. These supports include personal care as well as social and recreation time in and near the home. They are an important aid to the families, with those we support ranging in age from 20 something to 60 something.
While many continue working at companies across Baltimore that are deemed as essential and remain open, many people have been laid off. Staff from The Arc remain in contact to maintain connection, provide reassurance, and identify unmet needs.
Contract Janitorial, Landscaping, Policing employment
For safety reasons, supported workers are not currently being employed and are asked not to report to work. For the time being, contract supervisors and displaced direct support staff are maintaining many of these contract obligations for essential services such as sanitizing public spaces. We will consider on a week-to-week basis when supported workers can return to work. Staff are in contact with supported workers to maintain connection, provide reassurance, and identify unmet needs.
Treatment Foster Care
Our social workers remain in contact with foster families and the children in their care, especially now that school is closed.
Administrative Headquarters and Seton Employment Center
Our Administrative Headquarters and Seton Employment Center will remain closed for all other than the essential staff that will remain on site. Telework options are available for many staff. This will support key aspects of our operations. In addition, staff is invited to “sign-up” for miscellaneous tasks, food shopping, medicine delivery, etc. Staff who have childcare or other personal commitments are permitted to use sick/vacation time.
JOIN OUR RESPONSE TEAM
The Arc Baltimore has launched a COVID-19 Response Fund. We continue to respond to the Coronavirus threat and have taken many steps to keep people we support and our staff safe. While our resources are all focused on these initiatives, much of our normal funding is not coming in. Please, if you can, make a financial contribution today to our COVID-19 Fund. Give online or send your check to 7215 York Road, Baltimore MD 21212.
WHAT IS COVID-19 AND WHAT CAN I DO?
The Arc Maryland and the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council partnered to create a COVID-19 resource guide that is written in plain language. Check out the information on symptoms, hygiene protocols, and suggestions for how to spend your time indoors. The last page has a list of additional resources.
Dial 2-1-1 for help. The answers you’re looking for are just three digits away. Information, community resources and referrals on a variety of health and human service issues are available with one easy call. A trusted and caring call specialist is there to answer the helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The 2-1-1 Maryland United Way Helpline provides individuals and families one easy-to-remember hot line for assistance.
Watch for additional notifications from The Arc. Staff should contact their managers for further information. Families and other agencies should also use their normal contacts with questions as needed. This will also help us identify new information that we can distribute. If you do not receive a satisfactory response, email email@example.com.