Organizational 
COVID-19 Response Plan

Click Here: Detroit Free Press: “In a sobering traffic jam, I found Detroit’s coronavirus heroes” Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press

Contact: Stephanie Maurice / 248-707-0741 / stephanie.maurice@focushope.edu

Statement from Portia Roberson, Focus: HOPE CEO
March 24, 2020

As we all continue to navigate this situation together, Focus: HOPE’s priority remains the safety and well-being of those we serve, our colleagues, and all who visit our campus.

With an abundance of caution around the health and safety of those we serve, pursuant to Governor Whitmer’s Stay Home Stay Safe order, we have made additional adjustments to our programming:

  • Food for Seniors operations will continue, with adjusted pick-up and delivery options to adhere with social distancing recommendations.
  • All on-site Early Learning and Youth Development programming, along with all external activities, cancelled through April 13.
  • All on-site Workforce Development classes cancelled through April 13.

This is a time of great need for many in our community. The mission of Focus: HOPE is critical, as we continue to support:

  • 41,000 older adults who receive food from Focus: HOPE every month
  • Students and families in our Early Learning and Youth Development programs with remote educational and wraparound support services, as well as food access
  • Students we train for careers who will now need to change plans, schedules, budgets, and more.

Even during a pandemic, Focus: HOPE needs to be there for our community.

We are in need of donations and volunteer support to help us continue meeting the needs of those we serve during this time of great uncertainty for so many. Please give on our website (www.focushope.edu), or reach out to stephanie.maurice@focushope.edu if you have any questions or want to know more about how to help.

We know this too shall pass. And we are certainly eager for the day when we receive the “all clear” to resume normal operations. But right now, nothing is normal, for any of us. And we need each other, now more than ever.

Be well,

Portia Roberson, CEO, Focus: HOPE

Link to Video Statement from Portia Roberson, CEO Focus: HOPE: https://youtu.be/RMXkGh5zB8k

Programming Details

Food for Seniors

All Focus: HOPE food distribution centers are offering pre-packaged food boxes via drive-up distribution.

Delivery to seniors will continue with staff following social distancing and health guidelines.

All other services at food centers are suspended through April 13.

Hours for drive-up food distribution: Monday-Thursday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Friday 8:00 AM – Noon

Food center locations:

  • Westside Food Center: 1300 Oakman Blvd., Detroit
  • Inkster Food Center: 759 Inkster Road, Inkster
  • Eastside Food Center: 9151 Chalmers, Detroit

Requirements:

  1. Provide proof of age 60+ (e.g. state ID card)
  2. Provide # of people in household
  3. Reside in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, or Washtenaw counties
  4. Income limits
    a. 1-person household: $16,588 or below
    b. 2-person household: $22,412 or below
    c. 3-person household: $28,236 or below
    d. 4-person household: $34,060 or below
    e. 5+ person household: $5,824 or below per additional household member

For any questions about food pickup or delivery, please contact 313-494-4600

Workforce Development & Education

In-person classes cancelled through April 13. Staff are offering students access to online learning resources and virtual support during this time.

Early Learning and Youth Development

All on-site programming and external activities cancelled through April 13. Staff are providing students & families with remote educational and wraparound support services, as well as food access support.

All Focus: HOPE buildings closed to visitors through April 13.

There is a great need for individual, corporate, and foundation support as Focus: HOPE continues to meet the needs of those we serve during this unprecedented crisis.

We are truly grateful to all who have already partnered with Focus: HOPE over the past week through monetary, in-kind, and volunteer support.

Please contact Stephanie Maurice at 248-707-0741 or stephanie.maurice@focushope.edu with any questions or if you would like to help Focus: HOPE during this time.

Update 3/17/20:

As we all navigate this new situation together, Focus: HOPE’s priority continues to be the safety and well-being of those we serve, our colleagues, and all who visit our campus.

We know that the necessary changes being made to slow the spread of COVID-19 are affecting all aspects of our community, and every person we serve, in many ways. 

We are taking actions as recommended by local, state, and federal guidance. These decisions have not been made lightly. These actions are being implemented in order to reduce the community spread of COVID-19. Please refer to CDC guidance for other steps you can take to slow the spread of the virus.

Program Status as of 3/16/20, 4:00pm

Early Learning: All classes cancelled through April 5.
We will continue to provide services to families remotely.


Workforce Development: All classes will be cancelled March 18 through April 5.


Food: Operating with drive-up and delivery options only, to adhere with social distancing recommendations.


Volunteers: Operating with a very limited volunteer base, serving in Food program only.

ALL external activities
(Conference Center events, youth development, community meetings, etc.)
postponed until further notice.
 

    • Campus open on reduced schedule of 9:00am-5:00pm Monday-Friday; closed on weekends.
    • All employees who have the ability to complete their main job functions remotely are teleworking as of Monday, March 16.
    • Employees who do not have the ability to complete their main job functions remotely are reporting to work while following strict health and safety recommendations per CDC guidance.
    • We are continuing careful cleaning and disinfecting of campus. When choosing cleaning chemicals, we are consulting information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved disinfectant labels with claims against emerging viral pathogens. Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 based on data for harder to kill viruses.

Please reach out to Stephanie Maurice at 248-707-0741 or stephanie.maurice@focushope.edu if you have any questions or want to know more about how to help.

Informational Resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

State of Michigan

City of Detroit

March 13, 2020

As the uncertainty around coronavirus affects us all, Focus: HOPE’s priority is the safety and well-being of those we serve, our colleagues, and all who visit our campus. 

As you are surely aware, there have been two cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Southeast Michigan. Given the low number of tests that are being done for COVID-19, and the experiences with community spread in other locations in the United States and around the world, it is likely that there are additional undetected cases in Southeast Michigan. 

Based on the experiences with the virus and its spread, we know that the actions we take now will determine how fast and far the virus spreads in our region. Older adults and those with underlying medical conditions are much more vulnerable to the disease. Even if younger persons are not affected by the virus, they can still spread it to more vulnerable persons. 

While it may still be possible to slow or stop the spread of this virus in our region, we must ensure that we take steps necessary to mitigate the spread of the virus so that we do not overwhelm the health care system. This is being referred to as “flattening the curve”1. There are a finite number of hospital beds, respirators, and medical staff in our area, so our goal is to slow the spread of the disease to a level that can be treated and managed by the health care system. 

We can all take personal actions, and Focus: HOPE is taking organization-wide actions as well: 

Personal Actions 

At the individual and household level, actions include practicing good health habits, curtailing travel, and preparing for the possibility that you or a family member will contract the virus and have to self-quarantine. 

How COVID-19 Spreads  

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person, including:  

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).  
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.  

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has SARS-CoV-2 on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the primary way the virus spreads. 

People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (i.e., experiencing fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this type of asymptomatic transmission with this new coronavirus, but this is also not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. 

Although the United States has implemented public health measures to limit the spread of the virus, it is likely that some person-to-person transmission will continue to occur. The CDC website2 provides the latest information about COVID-19 transmission. 

 

Prevention Tips  

  • Wash your hands hourly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. In between hand washing, use hand sanitizer. 
  • Stay at least six feet away from anyone you come into contact with. 
  • If you are sick, STAY HOME.  
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow.  
  • Instead of shaking hands, use elbow bumps or foot taps.  
  • Only use your own workspace – computer, phone, desk, etc. 
  • Self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 if you suspect possible exposure. 

Please refer to the State of Michigan’s guidance3for other steps you can take to slow the spread of the virus. 

If you are having symptoms consistent with the COVID-19 virus, please consult your doctor and self-isolate to the highest degree possible. 

Finally, even if you are younger and not in a high-risk group, your actions will help protect your neighbors and family members who may be in a high-risk group.  

 

Organizational Actions 

Focus: HOPE’s response now consists of the following, but will evolve as warranted: 

  • Cancelling or rescheduling all internal and external meetings; replacing any necessary face-to-face meetings with virtual communications 
  • Limiting external visitors and internal cross-campus travel 
  • Requesting that colleagues reschedule all nonessential business travel – local, national, and international  
  • Sending home any colleagues who are sick, and requiring them to stay home until they are completely symptom-free for 24 hours  
  • Conference Center: suspending all events through 4/1 
  • Food for Seniors: limiting entrance to food centers, postponing food sampling 
  • Early Learning: adjusting dropoff and sign-in processes; limiting entrance to Early Learning Center 
  • Workforce Development & Education: adjusting testing processes and locations; limiting entrance  
  • Volunteers: Strongly recommending that all volunteers carefully self-monitor 
  • Installing hand sanitizer stations and extra disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the work environment. When choosing cleaning chemicals, we are consulting information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved disinfectant labels with claims against emerging viral pathogens. Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 based on data for harder to kill viruses.  

We are approaching this situation with an abundance of caution and will take further measures as warranted. When in doubt, we will err on the side of caution. We thank you for your understanding and your assistance in working together to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our local community. We will continue to communicate as we receive further guidance from county, state and federal government.  

With a heightened focus on physical health, added attention to your mental health is important, too – this article shares tips on managing anxiety during this time: http://bit.ly/coronavirusanxiety 

1https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/11/science/coronavirus-curve-mitigation-infection.html 

2https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html 

3https://www.michigan.gov/Coronavirus 

Garrett Brown

Author Garrett Brown

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