The health and well-being of our members is always top of mind at Neighborhood House.
Like many of you, we have been closely following updates on COVID-19. This week we took additional internal precautions to ensure the safety of everyone who visits our center. We were faced with making the difficult decision of closing, knowing so many of the individuals we serve rely on us for food and other basic needs. Basketball games and Neighbor Nite were canceled, but our daily programming continued.
We have been a beacon of support for 124 years. Any decision to temporarily close our doors is not taken lightly, but we've seen unprecedented cancelations in the last 48 hours, from major sporting events to residential colleges. It is clear that this is a threat to public health that must be taken seriously.
That is why, following the recommendations made by officials and public health experts, we are closing our Four Seasons senior program and Youth Development Program until April 6th. We understand that this is a stressful time, but we are hopeful that the response will flatten the curve and allow health systems to better care for the sick - and to ultimately save lives.
Our food bank will continue to be open Monday - Friday from 10 a.m. to noon, and we will serve a modified Kids Café meal each night. Instead of a seated dinner in our big room, we will be handing out to-go bags at 5 p.m. This is open to any child in need, without limitations on geography or membership.
Metro Government's Senior Nutrition Program will be providing to-go meals at certain distribution locations, and we are working with our senior members to be sure they have that information, answer questions and reassure them we will be back soon.
JCPS is operating 43 lunch pick-up sites while schools are closed. They will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. If someone you know is concerned about feeding their child during the closure, please share this information with them.
As of this writing, our Child Development Center will remain open. This, too, was a challenging decision to make, but many of our parents do not have paid sick or vacation time, nor do they have the flexibility to work from home. Should the Department for Public Health & Wellness or the Cabinet for Health and Family Services recommend that child care centers close, we will follow that recommendation.
We will keep you updated on any additional closures as they arise. Reminders to wash your hands have increased tenfold this month. We agree with that advice, but we encourage you to practice self-care and look out for each other, too.