03 Jun Kerry’s Corner: June 2020
By now you’ve probably lost count of how many days we’ve been in quarantine. I also assume that you’re probably ready for the next chapter. I’m here to tell you WE ARE, TOO! And while we are eager to hear the rumblings of dinner groups in the kitchen and the laughs echoing from our playroom, we are taking our responsibility to the families we serve very seriously.
As you may recall, on March 18, in partnership with RMHC Global, we made the very difficult decision to suspend accepting new families to the House temporarily. During this time, we were able to continue to serve the families across all three Valley Houses that were already staying with us as of this date.
Because of support from the community, these families remained at the House and close to the medical resources they needed for their children. At the same time, our Dinnertime Heroes carried on their commitment to providing dinner for our families each night, and our staff stood firm in their promise to serve our guests to the best of our abilities.
While we are proud of the way we have been able to pivot during these trying times to continue our mission, there has been lots of talk about getting back to “normal,” or rather, the “new normal.”
In order to ensure the continued safety of our staff, volunteers, and most of all, our guest families, the RMHC Global leadership team has set out stringent requirements for chapters to meet before reopening our Houses to new families. This includes data driven evidence that the infection rate in our local communities is decreasing. While some of the requirements like this are out of our hands, we are working diligently on the things we can control.
We are working on our reinstatement plan which will focus on our chapter and program capacity. When we are able to welcome families back, it will be a phased approach with specific guidelines over several weeks. We have all necessary PPE and secured our supply chain, created and implemented new cleaning and disinfecting protocols and updated our intake process. Our staff will also go through additional training on our operating procedures.
While we look forward to opening the House back up to full capacity, we know it will take some time. Our promise to you and to our families is that we will continue to be vigilant in our approach to ensure that we protect the health and well-being of the children and families we proudly serve, as well as our staff and eventually visitors and volunteers.
We are immensely grateful for your support and understanding while we navigate this new territory. We know that the future of the organization is bright and we will come back even stronger.
Chief Executive Officer