Dear Families and Friends,
Our mission and our community remains more important than ever before. We continue to support and value each other, albeit in new ways due to our current environment. While we cannot come together in person, we remain connected.
This connection is what continues to drive our AHRC Nassau and Citizens teams to go above and beyond. Safeguarding the good health and good spirits of the people we support is our sacred duty. Our dedicated team of direct support professionals, nurses and administrative staff remains mindful of how separation from loved ones and routine impacts the people we support. Every day, they’re brainstorming new ways to re-connect and re-energize our in-home services.
It is because of this dedicated team that our houses remain engaged in many valuable pursuits, from sewing medical masks for Nassau County EMS workers to celebrating birthdays to advocating for DSPs’ recognition as essential workers through hand-made rainbows signs. We are proud to be able to share these moments together and invite you to join us on social media at AHRC’s Facebook and Instagram, as well as Citizens’ Facebook and Instagram, for meaningful updates from across our community. We want to stay connected and welcome any ideas or feedback at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
As with so many on Long Island, COVID-19 has touched our community. We are strengthened in knowing that the first COVID case we had in our group homes has, through the care and support of every single person surrounding them, recovered and is now out of isolation. This level of care and commitment is being carried out across all of our residences, so that all members of our family - the men and women who live in our homes and the staff members who support them - remain safe and emotionally well.
Following Governor Cuomo’s daily reports, we know that we must remain vigilant. Please continue to reach out, sharing your support and strength with our team as they carry on our important work. To support our team, a fund has been established to support in-home staff members. They have shared that having meals brought and having activities to do provides more time for direct supports and personal interactions. You can learn more about the AHRC Covid Fund and the Citizens Covid Fund. Please know that we appreciate all acts of giving and a phone call, a letter or social media post, lets them know they are valued – and its makes all the difference.
While we address the current realities of COVID-19, we must also look to our future and ensure disability funding is a priority for lawmakers. Last week, I, alongside hundreds of other agency leaders, signed on to an Arc of the United States letter of support for necessary disability funding in the fourth COVID relief package. What is being sought specifically is increased funding for home and community-based services; access to personal protective equipment (PPE) for direct care workers; increased production of PPE and ventilators nationally; and technical fixes to the recovery rebate and paid leave provisions of other COVID-19 legislation to ensure inclusion and equity for the disability community.
In our last advocacy campaign for the COVID-19 relief packages, hundreds of letters were sent to lawmakers. Your voices made an important impact. In the coming weeks, as we care for ourselves and our loved ones, we must ensure we again are heard.
Wishing you and your family peace and good health,
Stanfort J. Perry