On October 9th, Chief Executive Officer Frederick Shack participated in the Supportive Housing Network of New York’s Friday Forum on Supporting Staff During COVID-19. The discussion on this important topic was moderated by Jeannette K. Ruffins, Chief Executive Officer of West End Residences; panelists included Raihana Bosse, Program Director of, Henry Street Settlement; Mark Jennings, Associate Executive Director at Project FIND; and Adina Barbosa, Deputy Chief Program Officer at CUCS.

Fred shared details of Urban Pathways’ multi-pronged approach to supporting staff members as COVID-19 spread across the city. Clear and timely communication was key, to ensuring that both staff and clients had access to up-to-date public health information in a rapidly-changing environment. Implementing virtual staff briefings and a daily newsletter for clients with information were also important elements of ensuring that communication remained open and accurate.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other supplies were critical to reducing exposure to the virus. Fred described quick actions undertaken to obtain and distribute PPE, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies to staff and clients. Providing meal stipends and incentive pay to those staff working onsite were additional ways Urban Pathways supported essential staff as they worked to keep clients safe while continuing to keep all programs fully operational.

Fred concluded the discussion by emphasizing the need to continue supporting staff as the pandemic continues to impact the life of the City. The pandemic revealed just how essential our the nonprofit workforce truly is, and supporting this workforce must be a top priority to ensure staff have the resources they need to sustain the critical work of serving New York’s most vulnerable adults.

Thank you to SHNNY for hosting an informative and timely panel discussion, and for your continuous support in navigating the COVID-19 response.

A recording of the panel can be viewed here.

By Urban Pathways on October 15, 2020