We are looking for ways to help coordinate a reponse.
Like most of you, we have been following the emerging epidemic–with a particular concern for the vulnerable population we serve and our workforce. We know that individual agencies have been following the issue and attempting to plan. We are looking for ways to help coordinate a response. With this in mind the Northwest Arkansas Continuum of Care Board of Directors has outlined several goals:
2. Schedule a weekly virtual meeting for front-line providers (emergency shelters, day centers, food distribution programs, transitional housing agencies, etc.) to identify gaps between recommended best practice from the federal government with local resources (e.g. do we have the ability to support an exposed individual in “self-quarantine?).
3. The NWA CoC will take the lead on engaging our local health care systems to identify any gaps in our ability to respond and request assistance.
4. 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 how Covid-19 will affect our 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
- 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.
United Way of Northwest Arkansas
During this difficult time, the team at United Way of Northwest Arkansas (UWNWA) is thinking of you, the families you serve, and our community. In recognition of the community’s challenges, UWNWA is establishing the COVID-19 Response Fund in order to mobilize our resources to provide support where it is most needed. UWNWA is committed to helping the community and providing flexible resources to organizations so they can identify the biggest areas of need, directly address them and impact those most vulnerable in Northwest Arkansas.
UWNWA will administer the fund and an advisory committee of local funders and community institutions working directly with impacted populations will oversee the application process. The application for organizations to request funds will be available through a link at unitedwaynwa.org/COVID19donate by April 3, 2020. Additional phases of future funding will be developed by evaluating the funds available, community needs, and government response. Please see the attached press release for more information.
Donations to the fund can also be made by individuals, companies or organizations online at unitedwaynwa.org/COVID19donate or Text COVID19NWA to 71777. You can contact Christina Hinds, Vice President of Resource Development, at [email protected] to make a donation to support the COVID-19 Response Fund for NWA.
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 Cynthia Cochran 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 Weekly Conference Call
Local meetings will be held weekly on Friday at 9:00 a.m. via Zoom beginning Friday, March 13th, 2020 and continuing until further notice. If you would like to participate in the call please email the NWA CoC to be added to the regular meeting invite list.
If an agency representative is unable to participate on Friday morning, please feel free to email John Gallagher.
Thanks to everyone for the work you do every day.
Please feel free to reach out to me or other CoC board members with questions, suggestions, or concerns.