April 10, 2020 Update:

For Families, People Supported and Staff

A Message from Marco Damiani, CEO, AHRC New York City

Dear AHRC New York City Team Members:

I write to you today as part of my continuing effort to keep you updated on what we are doing to support those who benefit from our services and to support you, our valued staff.

Over the last week and a half, we’ve been working hard to get our story out to New Yorkers in the city and across the state, and to others around the nation. This is a very important effort, as you are unheralded heroes who deserve not just thanks and attention, but all the resources you need for as long as you need them, to break the back of the coronavirus, get us to the other side, and begin to move, gradually and safely, to a more normal way of doing our work. We’ve had several recent successes in this area.

I am very pleased to let you know that yesterday the New York Times published a front-page article outlining the incredible work being done by DSPs and others and the many challenges that AHRC New York City and other organizations have been facing during this crisis.

The link to the NYT article is here: ‘It’s Hit Our Front Door’: Homes for the Disabled See a Surge of Covid-19.

This kind of high-level attention has already yielded fruit. Key AHRC NYC leadership staff and I will soon be on a call with OPWDD, the NYS Department of Health, and members of the Governor’s Executive Chamber to discuss our response to the coronavirus and to reinforce our need for specific resources.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve made a number of thank-you calls to staff members, in particular to team members supporting our residential programs, which now includes quite a few of our day services staff. It is tragic that several sites have suffered deaths, but, thanks to your commitment, diligence and professionalism, the majority of our locations are COVID-free. It is extremely encouraging that 10 COVID-positive individuals have come home from the hospital, an uplifting trend for which we are all grateful. To say I’ve been inspired by your determination, creativity, teamwork, and resilience, would be an understatement. My recognition and gratitude go to those of you supporting the overall organization’s administrative needs as well, for you are providing vital support and doing essential work to keep us all going.

As we celebrate Passover and Easter, we are reminded that human beings are extraordinarily resilient creatures. We find ways to reconnect with, celebrate, and support one another. We also find solace in collectively pausing to grieve and remember those we have lost. In these days of social distancing, we are fortunate that we have access to technology that can bring us together.

I wish you and your loved one’s peace, good health, and strength during these holidays.

Thanks again for all you are doing!
Stay Strong and Stay Well!

Marco