We have exciting news! Today, SACA re-opened its physical doors to our community. It has been a tough few months, and we have had to navigate many obstacles. At long last, our team is healthy and ready to again serve our community in person. We all have greatly missed the chance for face-to-face connections with our neighbors, friends, and clients.
On March 17 we officially closed our doors; this was shortly before the state issued Stay at Home Orders for Lancaster County. At that time, we went online with the services we were able to offer, found creative ways to bring meals to those hungry and sheltered at home, and continued with those programs that did not involve face-to-face interaction. We are proud of the creativity, support, and dedication of our staff.
On March 23, Tec Centro, our workforce development center, started online learning for its adult clients. Tec Centro students faced many challenges: some lacked a home computer and high speed-internet; many had to cope with assisting their children with their school work and care for other family members; others found using the technology challenging; and many dealt with financial hardships caused by lack of work and the constraints of shelter-at-home rules. We anticipate that 500 candidates will need Tec Centro services between now and the end of the Summer, and that number will continue to grow in the Fall as many in our community need employment services. Tec Centro will open for services on June 9.
Opening for Nuestra Clinica Education & Prevention Services (NCEPS) in the Yellow Phase will require, as with all PA services, the wearing of masks, fever screenings, shortness of breath and cough assessments, and appointments by schedule only. Transportation needed for in-person medical and social services appointments will be provided via a bus pass or by the case manager, offices without the capacity for 6-foot distancing have put in place sneeze guards for the protection of both clients and staff. In-office appointments will be reduced to half percent capacity. Masks will be provided if the client does not present with one. NCEPS is eager to return to their important work in our community as one of the only independent HIV/AIDs, Hep C, and sexually transmitted disease clinics in Lancaster County.
Community Meals will continue with “Grab & Go” meals (one hot and one cold meal handed out together) in the yellow phase. Unfortunately, our Senior Center will need to remain closed until our partnering agencies outline their facility social distancing requirements for seniors.
Outpatient Behavioral Health Services will see patients by appointment only. We can allow for no more than six clients in the building at a time and our providers will continue with tele-health visits when appropriate.
Residential Services are and will remain open with PPE and screenings taking place daily staff and clients will use masks and social distancing.
WLCH Radio Centro will continue their fine work on air: informing our community of the new, developing, and changing information as we continue our journey to green.
We are prepared and optimistic to meet the new health guidelines. As you can imagine, COVID-19 and the stay-at-home order has impacted our budget. Not only have operations that brought revenue into SACA sharply declined, additional services and supplies had to be purchased. We have sought to provide for more cleaning staff, supplies, medical products, and the increased need for computers by our home learners.
If your situation allows, donations are greatly welcomed, appreciated, and valued at this time and will immediately be put to use. Your continued support allows SACA to provide services, equipment, and support to those most marginalized and at risk in our community.