The agency is “virtually” bustling with activity. In compliance with local shelter-in-place orders stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, agency staff are using technology and modified strategies to continue serving people in need each day.

“Our programs have continued without interruption since the Coronavirus was identified as a threat and the stay at home orders were issued,” said Catholic Charities Interim CEO Sunny Jones. “What has changed is how we’re providing help. We are committed to protecting the safety of our clients, volunteers and staff while we serve.”

“We expected to see the need increase very quickly due to lost wages from jobs that disappeared as businesses closed,” she continued. “We quickly adjusted Welcome Center processes to handle intakes over the phone, and set appointments for those who needed to come into the office. Social Workers in each of our programs who serve as case managers transitioned to meeting with and supporting their clients over the phone or via video call. We know how critical it is for our clients to remain connected to us and trust that they can receive support and assistance here.”

Since March 16

The top three barriers identified by individuals coming to Catholic Charities were:

  1. My workplace had to close down
  2. I am struggling to pay my bills
  3. I can’t find daycare for my children as my child care location is closed

How we adjusted:

To assure safety:

  • We asked those seeking assistance to call ahead for an appointment
  • Intakes and discussions of need took place over the phone
  • In-person visits to the Welcome Center were scheduled to assure social distancing
  • Pick up of food and hygiene items occurred outside the building in Kansas City

To assure that we could serve:

  • Welcome Center specialists scheduled appointments every 10 minutes instead every 30 minutes
  • Staff from other programs were moved to the Welcome Center to assist with emergency assistance requests

To continue our pledge to both serve and lift:

  • Employment services in person workshops were canceled to protect health and meet social distancing guidelines
  • Specialists adapted their coaching and training sessions to over the phone or video conference for resume building, job search support and interview training

We were there to serve with:

– $100,000 in rent and utility assistance
– 3,084 pounds of food
– 1,640 diapers for infants and toddlers
– 5,223 personal care/hygiene items

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