NEW ORLEANS (press update) – Friendraising is Kingsley House’s single largest annual fundraising effort.  Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, Kingsley House has been forced to move the Friendraiser to the fall.   Yet, Kingsley House maintains much of the same costs that it had before the crisis, as all staff are still employed in either their original capacity, or a slightly different role where their talents could be used.

While Kingsley House staff may not be in the classroom, the adult day care center, or in participant homes throughout the community, they are actively engaging with our families.  In our Early Learning Services program, Family Advocates are making calls to and collecting information about the needs of our families, sharing information regarding community resources such as ready.nola.gov and 211 as well as ways to cope. Our teachers are developing and implementing effective methods to provide continuous virtual learning for our children throughout this crisis, including hosting Facebook live classes.  In the Adult Services Program, our Certified Nursing Assistants are placing calls to Adult Day Care participants twice a week, collecting and providing similar resource information as well as conducting a health check.  As some seniors are beginning to show signs of depression, the CNAs have also begun hosting zoom health education lessons.  This accomplishes the goal of imparting important health information and allows the seniors to connect with their friends and feel less isolated. This social connectedness is vitally important during this time of social distancing.

Staff will continue ongoing outreach and connectivity with families and are committed to addressing not only their immediate needs, but also addressing the challenges many will likely face in the near future. Many need assistance in applying for benefits and services; while others are in need of mental health services. We anticipate our families will not only experience the loss of a family member, but a family member that also may have provided physical and emotional support as well as support for transportation or child care.  Our families likely will have experienced job loss of one or two full-time and/or part-time jobs. And for those that had begun on the path toward economic self-sustainability via our Kingsley Connections Career program, they may have experienced disruption of skills training and educational attainment, and the loss of progress made in building an emergency fund or savings.

So how can individuals help? If they are in the position to make a donation to support our current work at www.kingsleyhouse.org, we would be most grateful.  Additionally, seniors and families are in need of donations of cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, diapers, personal care items, etc., and there will be evolving ways that supporters can volunteer.  If people are interested in learning more about how to help, they can email us at dbetzer@kingsleyhouse.org.