Hillsides Update Regarding the Impact of the Coronavirus
Thank you to so many from our support community who have reached out to us concerned about the children and families we serve during this pandemic. It is especially in this kind of a situation when we are reminded of how interdependent we are. This update is meant to keep you informed of our response to this extraordinary moment in our community and to convey our hope that you are all staying well.
Let me start by acknowledging the spirit with which our employees have responded to an ever-evolving situation. It demonstrates our resourcefulness, resolve, and resiliency. I am so proud of them all and enormously grateful for their dedication and commitment to those we serve.
Public officials have reminded us that what might seem as an overreaction is in reality the most appropriate response to a situation with many unknown elements. Because of our containment strategy to date, we have kept our residents, other clients, and staff safe. With the exception of our residential program, most of the services are now being delivered remotely in order to contain the spread of this virus.
Status of Programs
The residential program has become relatively self-contained to the campus, thanks to the efforts of our staff and the leadership team that risk exposure to serve our residents. Screening for symptoms is in place along with a number of other protocols to mitigate exposure to the virus. Students at Hillsides Education Center have been dismissed from classes while the teaching staff valiantly provides remote instruction.
Clients of our community-based program have continued receiving services via teleconferencing and other remote interventions. Once again, this approach has presented many challenges, which the staff and leadership team of the Family Resource Centers have embraced. Youth Moving On has closed the Peer Resource Center for the time being and is providing care remotely as requested. Our housing services continue with provisions made for isolation of residents if necessary.
Children cared for in our resource family and adoption program are in touch with our staff remotely in order to attend to their on-going needs and those of the resource parents. All of our support services staff are now working remotely with only short coordinated periods in the office to address tasks that require their presence.
Governing our limited interactions are common sense measures; maintaining social distance, washing of hands thoroughly, coughing into the elbow, and staying home if sick.
All these efforts allows us to continue to provide much needed services. As a result, we do not anticipate any disruption in reimbursement. To the extent possible, given the pressing needs of our clients during this stressful time, we are able to maintain a relatively good level of care. It is important to acknowledge that there are limitations to what can be done remotely; however, we continue to make every effort to serve to our clients.
At the Federal, State and County level, we have been in touch with our funders and policy makers to address how any revenue short fall because of the limitations imposed by the coronavirus must be mitigated in order to keep us financially sound. Initial discussions indicate that public officials understand the need and urgency to financially support providers like Hillsides who are delivering indispensable services to children and families that are the most vulnerable because of the coronavirus. These discussions are ongoing.
We have always counted on our supporters to help us meet the gap to provide services to our children, youth, and families. And today more than ever, we need your help to ensure Hillsides is able to provide critical programs for our community. Donate here.
Once again thank you for your concern and support of our mission. We will continue to provide periodic updates and hope that in the meantime you are taking care to stay well.
Joseph M. Costa
Hillsides is a premier provider dedicated to healing children and young adults, strengthening families, and transforming communities through quality comprehensive services and advocacy. We envision a world in which children and young adults, families, and communities are able to heal, grow, and thrive. Our values are quality care, respect, integrity, transparency, compassion, collaboration, and innovation.