As we wrap up our third week of operating a virtual clubhouse, and enter into what experts predict is the start of the surge of the coronavirus in Massachusetts, I wanted to share a few uplifting highlights from Genesis Club.
- We reached out to and talked with nearly 300 members each day to check in to see that they had everything they needed to remain in good health, and to ensure they knew they were not alone during this crisis.
- Members, like Mike and Lisa, along with many others, joined staff in making outreach calls, delivering care packages, and helping the less tech-savvy connect to daily video calls and virtual unit meetings.
- We became part of a uniquely Worcester effort called, Worcester Together, a collaborative between the Greater Worcester Community Foundation and the United Way of Central Massachusetts, along with the City of Worcester, committed to easing the impact of this public health crisis on our most vulnerable neighbors.
- As part of this collaborative we received a generous grant, which helped us purchase data/internet/phone access for our most isolated members, and helped pay rent for some members who were laid off due to business closures.
- Member/staff teams prepared and delivered 20 care packages to members in critical need of food and personal health and hygiene items.
- We assisted 12 members to stabilize their housing, negotiated with landlords, completed housing applications, and helped one domestic violence survivor find safe shelter.
- We received a large donation of much-needed hand sanitizer from Houghton Chemical Corporation (Boston), a new corporate partner, to help members stay healthy.
As we enter Holy Week, regardless of your religious traditions or beliefs, I urge you to remember that light will always dispel the darkness, and new beginnings always follow difficult passages.
On behalf of all of us at Genesis Club, I wish you peace, light, and health.