April 16, 2020 Update:

For Families, People Supported and Staff

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As always AHRC New York City’s highest priority is the health and safety of ALL members of our community. We continue to stay informed and are in touch with the NYC and State Departments of Health (DOH) and the CDC. We are closely following their recommendations.  We request that all readers of this publication remain vigilant in following these guidelines:

  • Wear masks and gloves whenever you are out of your home, traveling or engaging in necessary activities
  • Continue infection control protocol like hand-washing with soap and water frequently

As of today:

The last few weeks have been among the toughest this organization has ever experienced in our 70 year history. We have lost numerous cherished people who lived in our residences and several extraordinary staff members to the Coronavirus. But, thanks to the amazing commitment, diligence, and professionalism of our staff, the majority of our locations are COVID-free. We recognize that more lives may be lost in the near future. We also must take the time to celebrate the fact that 10 COVID-positive individuals have come home from the hospital, an uplifting trend for which we are all grateful.

Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures. Every day, in fact, every hour, AHRC NYC staff display amazing determination, caring, professionalism and innovation, teamwork and resilience in their efforts to promote the well-being of and opportunities for people with disabilities throughout New York City.

HEROES WORK HERE!

On the Advocacy Front:

Over the last few weeks, 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 we have many unheralded heroes who deserve not just thanks and attention, but all the resources they need for as long as they 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.

The New York Times published a front-page article outlining the incredible work being done by DSPs (Direct Support Professionals) and others, and the many challenges that AHRC New York City and other organizations have been facing during this crisis. A list of our most recent news articles, including The New York Times, is below…

New York Times: It’s Hit Our Front Door’: Homes for the Disabled See a Surge of Covid-19.

Queens Daily Eagle: Through Tragedy Group Home Staff Show Up for New Yorkers with Disabilities

Queens Daily Eagle: Covid-19 Threatens People with Disabilities and the Agencies that Serve Them

CBS2 News: Caregivers of the Disabled Sacrificing, Fighting Hard Keep Their Clients Alive

silive: Staten Islanders with Disabilities Work to Adapt to New Routines During Covid-19

CityLimits: Guardianship Programs See Rising Covid-19 Death Toll

Newsday: NYS Senator, Chuck Schumer: Support Hazard Pay for Essential Workers

This kind of high-level attention has already yielded fruit. Key AHRC NYC leadership staff have had a call with OPWDD (Office for People with Developmental Disabilities), 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.

For AHRC NYC staff:

We have put together AHRC NYC’s Covid-19 Resource Guide for Staff, which includes, Local, State, and Federal resources. This guide is updated periodically.  Some of the newest resources include Child Care Services for Essential Employees, a NYS Mental Health Hotline, and updated Food Assistance access.

For families and friends:

We have put together AHRC NYC’s Covid-19 Resource Guide for Families, which includes, Local, State, and Federal resources which we will continue to update periodically.

Feeling stressed by the COVID-19 epidemic? You are not alone.
Call the NYS Emotional Support Helpline 7 days a week, 8:00 am to 10:00 pm at 1-844-863-9314.

For up-to-date information on AHRC NYC’s response to the Coronavirus, visit our website. For questions about health and personal issues, call your doctor and/or contact the Department of Health at the 888-364-3065  or at the Department of Health website.