As New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency for New York City last Thursday, March 12, 2020, the Korean American Family Service Center (KAFSC) is actively monitoring the current situation in regards to the recent global health crisis concerning the COVID-19 coronavirus. Our priority is the safety and well-being of our community members and supporters, and the provision of much needed support to our community.
Because safety is our top priority, KAFSC has implemented the following measures to ensure the safety and well-being of our community:
We are communicating with elected officials, the Mayor’s Office, and city agencies about organizational and community concerns. We are reviewing the latest guidance from the federal, state, and city governments to ensure that staff and community members stay healthy.
We are exercising good personal hygiene practices and following precautions including requiring all persons upon entering the building to wash their hands with soap and water and/or to use hand sanitizer available at the reception desk. We have notified all staff and clients to stay home if they are feeling unwell.
Gatherings have been suspended since last week and other programs and activities have shifted to virtual classrooms and meetings.
We are increasing our advocacy efforts within the community and with our elected representatives and firmly denounce any and all race based discrimination, attacks, and hate crimes.
We are urging the City, State, and Federal governments to create and implement emergency relief for immigrant survivors who are and will continue to be negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
KAFSC is and will continue to be present to support our community. All our programs and services must continue to operate during this time of uncertainty as the needs of our community members will increase. We are ensuring that the survivors that benefit from one or more of our many programs continue to receive critical support needed to feel safe, secure, and dignified throughout these difficult days ahead:
Our 24 hour bilingual hotline will continue as will our crisis intervention and counseling services.
Our 24/7 emergency shelter, and our long-term transitional housing program will operate without any interruption.
Case management services will continue to provide free, culturally competent, and linguistically appropriate legal, medical, and social service advocacy.
Our economic empowerment program has shifted to be able to provide classes virtually for both large groups as well as one-on-one individual job counseling services.
Starting Monday, Mar 16, Hodori “Little Tigers” After-school program has been suspended per NYC Department of Education mandate to at least April 20, 2020.
Youth programs have shifted to virtual meetings beginning this week.
During this crisis, KAFSC is committed to our mission to help individuals and families lead lives based on health, dignity, and free of violence. Other times in the past have called our community to band together to support each other, i.e. Hurricane Sandy, and 9/11, and we will do the same as we navigate this global public health crisis together. We are stronger as a community than alone.
Please do not hesitate to call our 24 hour bilingual English/Korean hotline with any needs or concerns, 718-460-3800. Thank you for your efforts to protect and support our community.
Sincerely, Jeehae Fischer Executive Director The Korean-American Family Service Center