Mercy Center continues to respond
Mercy Center families and participants are remarkably resilient and know how to endure even severe hardship. But they are also vulnerable, working in hard-hit fields such as hospitality and other service industries, with few resources of their own to draw on. For the undocumented among those we serve, even the CARES Act does not provide any relief. 
 
At Mercy Center we are firmly committed to doing everything we can to support all of our participants during this extraordinarily challenging time.
Youth Program Associate Lizzie Torrance (lower right) works remotely to help one of our after school children with homework.
With the advent of COVID-19, we suspended all on-site programming effective March 17. To the extent possible, program staff are working remotely, and we are providing online and telephone services as follows.

Adult Education & Workforce Development
  • Classes have been running online and both teachers and students have been very responsive in the transition.
  • Students are accessing online resources such as Zoom, WhatsApp, Remind, Quizlet, and Google Classroom from both computers and cell phones. They will take their exams through Google Forms.
  • Staff continue to provide students with remote support on a daily basis.

Familia Adelante/Family Forward
  • Our Family Workers are maintaining contact with their assigned families by phone to provide support with issues such as job losses and health concerns and to help them access available resources. 
  • Our collaboration partners are contacting families by phone to answer questions and provide guidance on new financial and educational challenges. They are also developing ways to offer some of their workshops online.

Immigrant Services
  • The Program Director is contacting participants with current cases by phone and responding to new callers seeking immigration assistance. 
  • The main focus has been on cases with a deadline, such as DACA renewals. She has been prepping applications and sending them to participants to review.

Social Services & Community Education
  • The Program Director is reaching out by phone to current participants who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. 
  • She is also responding to phone calls from others seeking guidance or support, providing resource information.

Youth Programs
  • The Youth Team is providing remote homework help, one-on-one tutoring, and technology support to After School children, and helping parents learn how to use the kids' electronic devices. 
  • 18 After School children are signed up for the virtual Robotics program that will begin this week with our consultant, Bricks4Kidz.

Personal Development
  • Our Chair Yoga instructor continues to offer classes online via Zoom.
Because of the uncertainty of the times, our services are all the more important to the lives of our participants. The coming months might bring even more difficult challenges, but Mercy Center will continue to support our community, the vulnerable of Mott Haven and beyond. We will get through this together.

Sincerely,
Stephen J. Stritch III
Executive Director
Mercy Center | www.mercycenterbronx.org