April 10, 2020
By Tom Lydon
Chief Executive Officer
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted New York City communities of people with intellectual/developmental disabilities. The residents of group homes for people diagnosed with I/DD are getting sick with COVID-19 at about five times the rate of the overall city population.
The state continues to be on PAUSE until April 29th. Everyone’s plans to see family over the Passover and Easter season are a bust. Staying home is saving lives!
Our frontline staff, which includes our residential direct support professionals, many day services staff assisting in residential, our residential management, and our nursing staff, need PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment). We were unable to get any from OEM. In fact, two sister agencies received a letter stating that our population is a low priority. Lifespire and CSEA reached out to all our political and business contacts. Together we were successful in obtaining surgical masks, KN-95 masks, a limited supply of hospital gowns, frocks, overalls, face shields and gloves. All of Lifespire’s frontline staff are providing critical services for the people we support and they need to be protected.
Lifespire has distributed gloves, surgical masks, KN-95 masks, hospital gowns, frocks and face shields several times during this pandemic. We intend to make additional distributions over this weekend. If any facility needs additional PPEs, please contact Lifespire’s management staff and/or your CSEA officers.
To all of Lifespire’s front line staff - on behalf of those who need and deserve our help – thank you! Thank you for your compassion! Thank you for your willingness to stand in the gap! Thank you for being there despite the losses we have experienced in residential! Each one of you are “Our Heroes”. We continue to stand together, and we will get through this as a community. May God bless you and yours! Be safe!