First and foremost, I’m reaching out to check in. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to support you and your loved ones during these challenging times. We know that now, more than ever, we rely on our partners, families, and friends for support, encouragement, and comradery as we adjust to the new normal and keep pushing forward towards a brighter future.
Just yesterday, an older couple in their 60’s from our Congreso Health Center with chronic conditions also tested positive for COVID-19. Our Health Center staff are currently going above and beyond to deliver a box of food and supplies to their front porch to make sure they have what they need to get through this together.
The coronavirus pandemic is exacerbating the existing challenges that many of our clients face already. We know that many individuals are experiencing job loss and loss of health insurance and are feeling anxious and distraught about how they will support their families and pay their bills.
We also know that, unfortunately, some people do not feel safe in their homes and the stay at home order and social distancing is putting them at risk. Congreso, along with our sister agencies, are doing everything we can to continue to support and advocate for survivors of domestic violence with safety planning, counseling, and more. The Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline (1-866-723-3014) is still operating 24/7 in dual language.
At Congreso, we remain committed to finding creative ways to continue our program operations and support our clients. Here are just a few examples:
• The Congreso Health Center is now offering telemedicine and urgent services to community members. We applaud our health center team for their dedication and hard work on the front lines of this crisis.
• On Monday, Congreso launched virtual homeownership workshops this week in collaboration with our existing partners. Clients completing the workshop will receive a certificate of completion.
• The Esfuerzo Team is providing food baskets to clients with chronic health conditions.
• Yesterday, Congreso launched its first virtual parenting classes for parents in our Family Empowerment Center.
• A virtual benefits counseling system is in development.
• A virtual ESL class was also launched this week for English language learners.
We remain committed to our entire Congreso Familia, including our 200+ staff. We continue to pay 100% of salaries and benefits to support the economic self-sufficiency and well-being of our employees and their families.
As a valued member of our familia, we encourage you to stay connected with us and want you to know that we are committed to getting through this together. Follow us on social media for additional updates and resources in English and Spanish.
Wishing you and your families health and hope!
Carolina DiGiorgio, President & CEO