With 20,000 participants to serve, Community Action started developing an infectious-disease response plan in early March. “We worked quickly, anticipating what our programs would look like,” said Communications and Development Director Heather Loughman.
Since mid March, the Gathering Place soup kitchen has been serving guests to-go meals from the porch, and has extended those meals to include weekends. “We’ve seen a surge in demand, the need has been higher than usual,” Loughman said.
Following suit with the schools, Community Action Partnership suspended on-site operations of its three Head Start centers. Staff are now connecting with families remotely and providing weekly deliveries of diapers, wipes, formulas and educational materials. Head Start families are among the most vulnerable in Lincoln. “When schools and centers close, the implications for families are pretty high. It’s a challenging time for our families now.”
There will also be increased demands on the Homeless Prevention Emergency Services Program which provides rent and utility assistance for those near or experiencing homelessness.
“With the COVID-19 response funds, we are ramping up our efforts to make sure participants have what they need right now. The money helps our staff respond to new and immediate needs,” Loughman said. “We are incredibly thankful for how quickly this fund was put together to help support non-profits.”
For more information on the Lincoln COVID-19 Response Fund and to make a donation, click here.