With the Governor’s current stay at home orders set to expire on May 4 you may be wondering about PRI’s plans for resuming services. We cannot yet provide a definitive date of when we plan to reopen. We understand that this may be difficult to hear especially as time continues to pass. We can, however, confidently inform you that we are preparing to reopen. To assist with decisions, we continue to monitor state and federal guidance to determine when the right time is to resume the various facets of PRI. There are still a lot of unknowns about the impacts of COVID-19 on our services. Despite the unknowns, many actions and detailed planning activities to prepare for reopening continue to occur.
Because safety is paramount, there are a lot of details involved in ensuring thorough precautionary measures and action plans are in place. Returning to PRI is going to be different for every individual, service site, employer, activity, etc. Because of this, reopening of the various service areas of PRI will occur incrementally.
Since in-person contact isn’t prudent at this time, we are developing methods to provide some services virtually where we can within the current confines. Employment services is one area where virtual service delivery is authorized. Last week we started the process of contacting clients and gathering information to move forward with this. Some employment services will begin to be provided by a select few employees in the next few weeks. We will directly reach out to individuals impacted by this as it progresses.
Right now, within the day (DTH) services there is not approval or ability to receive funds for providing virtual day services. We continue to push and wait for DHS to allow billing for these services virtually but there is no news on this yet.
We continue to pursue other sources of emergency funding to ensure the strength and stability of the organization. Thus far there also has not been approval at the legislative level or within DHS for day service providers to receive any partial funding to support fixed costs during closures. There are bills in both the State House and Senate Human Services Policy Committees around retainer payments to provide our programs limited funds to cover fixed costs and maintain sites. There is still work to be done and opportunities legislatively both at the State and Federal level. Thank you for continuing to follow this and respond to action alerts.
To assist us during this time, the PRI community has donated over $20,000 to date. Thank you for your gifts and for sharing PRI’s communications via social media and other means. The success of fundraising is attributed in large part to you, our strong network of PRI supporters. Your donations are paramount to our ability to continue to carry out our mission into the future. You will see that we are launching a campaign to help PRI thrive during this time and into the future. Look for more communication in the upcoming days about the Partners4Hope campaign.
We continue to navigate loans through the Small Business Administration programs. Although we were not funded in the first round of the Paycheck Protection Program, we connected with a great local bank and are hopeful during this second round.
Thank you for being part of the PRI community as we continue to navigate this unusual time. We look forward to seeing you soon!