As we bring 2020 to a close, we want to take a moment to look back on the challenges and opportunities that this year presented us.
We strive towards a community that provides inclusion and diversity throughout Hampton Roads for people with disabilities. We are sure we can all agree that this year hasn’t been easy on any of us; it has been especially difficult for people with disabilities and their family members.
Due to the growing Coronavirus pandemic, we were obligated to close our day programs in early March, for the health and safety of the individuals we serve. The closure of VersAbility’s day support programs meant sending hundreds of adults with the most significant disabilities, living in communities from Hampton to the Northern Neck, home for their own safety, with no idea of when they would be returning.
For many, they did not understand why they were sent home, why they couldn’t go out in their communities, and why they couldn’t return to VersAbility on a daily basis as they were used to. Some even asked, “What did I do wrong?”.
Our staff identified the growing and urgent need for mental health support during the pandemic, thinking outside of the box for ways to continue providing services to the people with disabilities that depend on us each and every day.
Through this innovation we were able to create an outreach and mental health support program for Day Support participants.
We have continued to provide 24/7/365 care to adults with disabilities in our residential homes with additional safety precautions put in place for the safety of all. Continued to provide phone screenings and virtual therapy support for children with disabilities under the age of three in Hampton and Newport News, and continue to provide mission-essential employment for our nation’s military while keeping social distancing and safety measures at the top of our priority list.
Jonathan, a day program participant at VersAbility was crushed when he learned that he would not be able to return to work as soon as he thought, however thanks to VersAbility’s new outreach program, we have been able to stay connected with Jonathan and other participants to ensure they still receive the critical support needed during these times.
“I know it’s just a small reach out, but we know their lives were completely disrupted and we wanted them to have contact with someone in the building,” said Kenita Ricks, VersAbility’s Director of Programs.
Although we have innovated, we still rely heavily on our community’s support, especially during this holiday season.
Please support VersAbility Resources today by donating at www.versability.org/donate and help protect the critical services and resources that people with disabilities in our community depend on.
Your gift, no matter the size, ensures that people with disabilities have programs and jobs to return to when it is safe.
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