Good Shepherd Services Calls on Government Partners for Immediate Support Amid Coronavirus Crisis
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 13, 2020
Contact: Liz Hallgren, email@example.com
Good Shepherd Services Calls on Government Partners at Local, State, and National Levels for Immediate Support and Guidance Amid Coronavirus Crisis
New York – As the situation with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, disrupting the work of essential social services across the city, Michelle Yanche, Executive Director of Good Shepherd Services, released the following statement:
“Human services organizations provide vital services and resources daily throughout all of New York City, including to its most vulnerable populations. During times of crisis, this work is even more important. Unfortunately, for organizations like Good Shepherd, which operate largely through government reimbursement based upon program attendance, enrollment numbers, and other operational measurements, emergency situations can hit especially hard. Without active and immediate guidance from our government partners, we risk leaving the communities that need us most without the services they rely on, and our staff without the resources and clarity they need to perform their jobs effectively and safely.
In times like this, our government and philanthropic partners must provide proactive, concrete guidance to support our contingency planning and disaster response. This includes but is not limited to:
- Upfront funding for emergency supplies or at the very least guarantees that cost outlays will be reimbursed
- Guaranteed reimbursement of costs related to disaster preparedness and business disruption (i.e. sick pay for staff who may be quarantined or whose programs may be closed as part of the response)
- Continuous and timely communication around temporary suspension or relaxation of policies, expectations, and penalties regarding outcomes and other benchmarks (i.e. enrollment numbers and attendance requirements outlined in our contracts and grants) in response to changing conditions and needs
- Timely, advance information and flexibility to allow deployment of staff from closed programs to high priority programs (i.e. residential programs that cannot close)
- Designated point of contact at each government agency with decision-making authority to respond to in-the-moment situations as they arise
There is an immediate need for clear communication and decision-making that will enable us to act in ways that are timely and responsive to the communities we serve. Our contingency and emergency response plans cannot wait, but we cannot properly develop or execute them without critical information from our funding partners. Otherwise, to do so we will be to take on enormous financial, contractual and reputational risk. We require immediate assurances of shared financial risk and a true partnership with government and philanthropy in order to serve our communities when they need us most.”
About Good Shepherd Services:
Guided by social and racial justice, Good Shepherd Services partners and grows with communities so that all NYC children, youth, and families succeed and thrive. Good Shepherd operates 100 programs, which helps more than 30,000 people throughout New York City every year.