We are looking for ways to help coordinate a reponse.
Like most of you, we have been navigating and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic epidemic–with a particular concern for the vulnerable population we serve and our workforce. We know that individual agencies have been resilient in this constant changing environment and appreciate your commitment to caring for those vulnerable in our community. We are looking for ways to help coordinate a response and plan for future public health crises. With this in mind the Northwest Arkansas Continuum of Care Board of Directors has outlined several goals:
1. Share resources developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) specific to Covid-19 and homeless service providers.
2. Host regular virtual meetings for NWA CoC members and Community Partners to identify gaps between recommended best practice from the federal government with local resources to effectively respond to COVID-19 pandemic and to plan for future public health crises.
3. More broadly, we are using this current epidemic as a moment to try and formalize the relationships many of our housing and homeless providers have with local healthcare providers and systems. While we do not yet know COVID-19’s long-term effects on our vulnerable population and workforce, we frankly know that those we serve experience increased risk for and rates of most communicable diseases (e.g. the seasonal flu).
Resources and Helpful Links
- HUD COVID-19 Resources includes a comprehensive list of resources, news and announcements.
- Recorded webinar led by HUD on Infectious Disease Preparedness for Homeless Assistance Providers and Their Partners
- Interim Guidance for Homeless Service Providers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), via link and PDF attached.
- COVID-19 Print Resource from the CDD
- UAMS Health – UAMS has both an online screening tool and a dedicated phone line for screenings or questions regarding COVID-19, you can now call the UAMS Health hotline at +1-800-632-4502.
- Arkansas Children’s – For children, call +1-800-743-3616 to speak with an Arkansas Children’s pediatric nurse. Nursing staff will be available for questions and phone screenings 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- HARK has established a landing page for individuals and families to be assessed for community services to help during the Covid-19 epidemic via this website.
- HARK has also compiled a list of current food programs. I am attaching as a Word document. Please note, these resources can change and phone numbers are provided so folks can check before referring or going.
Current Updates and Local Responses
The Community Clinic of NWA has set-up 13 locations across the region with services in English, Spanish, and Marshallese.
Service Provider Updates
We understand that in keeping with the guidance provided by health professionals, many local service providers are revising their practices and adjusting to accommodate social distancing recommendations. This has implications across the community and in particular of families and individuals who depend on pantries, food banks, and other service providers for food. We are working with community partners to coordinate services regionally. If you are in need of food please see the updates below and check back regularly for changes to service provision. If you provide food to members of our community please email Pam Hutcheson to be added to the calendar.
At this time, Samaritan Community Center will be having a DRIVE-THRU FOOD SERVICE.
Please see information on dates, times, and locations on their website.
Thank you for sharing all of the updates to the list of food resources we have shared. Sadly, these resources are changing too frequently for the CoC to keep a current list. We encourage all agencies that offer food to share their current status via Facebook and other social media. To help spread those messages, please also consider following the CoC’s Facebook page and we will share those updates as well.
NWA CoC COVID-19 Community Collaboration Virtual Meeting
Local meetings will be held bi-weekly on Friday at 9:00 a.m. via Zoom and continuing until further notice. If you would like to participate in the call please email Pam Hutcheson to be added to the regular meeting invite list.
Thanks to everyone for the work you do every day.
Please feel free to reach out to me or CoC board members with questions, suggestions, or concerns.