Keeping the People We Serve Safe and Healthy
The Coronavirus has put a tremendous strain on the Berkshire County Arc’s entire system, the 1,000 people with disabilities who we serve, and our 800-member staff.
We have closed all our programs except our 43 group homes, creating a financial loss—this includes closing our five day programs, and employment services.
Some 20 of our 43 group homes have been ordered to be quarantined—85 staff and individuals we serve have been quarantined, and numerous more are awaiting test results. Some house quarantines have been lifted.
We still have to care for our quarantined individuals. We are having difficult times staffing these homes. Some are self-quarantining themselves at the homes.
We are in search of supplies constantly—gloves, aprons, masks, cleaning products, sanitizers, and more. We are very concerned about this.
Last year we spent $18,700 on gloves and medicine cups. Last month we placed an emergency supply of $9000 for gloves, aprons, and masks. This month we spent another $16,000 on gloves, masks, and other protective gear. The virus has created a significantly increased demand on personal protection equipment. We have no idea how long this supply will last. As staff choose to stay home and safe, it puts strain on the staff who agree to work. We are always spending to advertise in the local papers, TV, and billboards to recruit more employees.
We are in search of any financial help we can find.
The grant money we need will cover costs to secure supplies for the houses, and “personal protective equipment” for the amazing staff who care for the individuals. Help like this would be greatly appreciated.