New York City's low-income communities are the world's hardest hit group by the COVID-19 pandemic. This "epicenter within the epicenter" is experiencing the highest rates of the city's more than 200,000 infections, and is struggling with the fact that a pandemic is worsening the already existing realities of living in poverty. In response, we're providing COVID-19 testing and treatment options, permanent housing to displaced youth in foster care, food boxes to hungry families, and more.
The challenges our families living in poverty have always faced - financial hardship, job insecurity, hunger, homelessness, and limited access to health and mental health care - are now even more destabilizing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. And because low-income families have less ability to work remotely, live in more crowded spaces, and have higher rates of pre-existing health conditions, their COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates have skyrocketed.
Our health clinics are testing symptomatic young people for COVID-19 and providing treatment options, and are offering other non-coronavirus health services to relieve overburdened hospitals. For our nearly 700 youth in foster care, we are conducting in-person and virtual home visits, and securing permanent housing for anyone who is at risk for homelessness. We're also distributing food boxes to hungry families, offering remote counseling, and providing virtual academic enrichment services.
In the long-term, our COVID-19 health services will save lives, and our non-coronavirus health services will help prevent our local hospitals from collapsing. Our foster care staff will help our youth avoid losing their homes, and continue to protect them from cycles of abuse and neglect. The food packages will help our families survive through periods of hunger, and the virtual counseling to traumatized individuals will safeguard their emotional well-being until we get through this pandemic.
Losing Independence During a Pandemic
Serving our Community through Healthy Foods
Staff Help Families Overcome COVID-19 Challenges
Responding to Clients' Need in the Bronx