JFS Perspectives

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Meeting the Need: Our Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Meeting the Need: Our Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

While keeping health and safety our top priority, we quickly mobilized to transform our services to meet the emerging needs of the community during the pandemic. Jewish Family Service has not only been providing vital services to our clients but to individuals and families throughout Colorado in response to COVID-19. Many have lost their jobs, making it difficult to pay bills, buy food to feed their families, and they are feeling stressed and anxious.

To practice social distancing, we changed the Weinberg Food Pantry to a drive-up model, providing pre-packed boxes of food to anyone in the community experiencing food insecurity with no documentation or sign-up needed. During the month of April, we served more than 150 families each day through the food pantry and deliveries. That is a 400% increase from our pre-COVID-19 operations.

Staff and volunteers have been reaching out to older adults and clients with disabilities to ensure they are supported and not further isolated due to this crisis. We continue to deliver groceries and kosher meals, pick up medications, and complete other errands for our older adult clients to minimize their need to go out.

JFS therapists made the change from in-person sessions to teletherapy for mental health clients, including school-based youths we serve through our KidSuccess program. Teletherapy services are available to any individuals in the community that may have been impacted by the stress of COVID-19. Our therapists are offering several virtual mental health groups for teens and adults.

The employment department continues to work with active clients by providing job development and job coaching mentorship over the phone or electronically.

To help prevent homelessness, our Emergency Assistance Program is providing those who are struggling financially with payments for mortgage and rent, utilities, and prescriptions.

JFS has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in many ways, and we are committed to continuing our efforts, adjusting and adapting as needed.