All Christian Opportunity Center (COC) Staff are very committed to the mission of integrating Christian values in teaching skills for life. However, COVID-19 has created many obstacles and uncertainties that have greatly affected the people with disabilities that COC supports.
COC is determined to do our part in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We committed to the health and safety of the people we support, our Staff, and the communities we serve. With the ongoing proliferation of COVID-19, COC is continuously monitoring our efforts to keep everyone healthy while maintaining services. Some of the measures we are taking include:
- We are screening all visitors and Staff that enter our administrative buildings.
- We are temporarily suspending visitors to our homes.
- We are limiting people supported involvement in the community, including bible studies.
- Staff training has been changed to online or in very small groups.
- Staff is to communicate and conduct meetings via phone, email, and Internet meeting options as much as possible.
- All Staff are wearing PPE when interacting with the people we support.
Many of the people we support are reliant on routines and seeing their family and friends. The mitigation efforts that our organization and our community have taken to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic have affected every aspect of the lives of the people we support. Many of the people we support have temporally lost their jobs due to businesses closing. COC’s Community Based Employment Programs reports that 49 people supported have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. Visits from family and friends are temporarily suspended throughout our residential programs, and church services and bible studies are canceled. These are activities that the people we support find fulfillment and joy in. These are issues that everyone is facing these days. Helping a person with intellectual disabilities understand these disruptions is often challenging.
COC’s excellent Staff continues to work on ways to talk with the people we support on how they can help to prevent the spread of the virus. Our teams are finding fun and creative ways to teach and review good hygiene daily. Our goal is to show the people we support how we all can do our part in the fight against the virus. Staff is also continually working on finding alternative ways to keep the people we support engaged and active. Many of our Staff have introduced new craft projects, gardening, exercise, and prayer as part of their daily routine. COC Staff has also started to conduct weekly games of BINGO with our Residential Programs through Zoom, with the chance to win a pizza party. As we look toward our “new normal”, our organization is so grateful to the commitment of our Staff to the people we support.