Blog

Protecting the Health of Our Young People

Dear Friends,

At First Place for Youth, the well-being of our young people is paramount.

We place their health and safety at the center of all our work as we prepare them to live independent lives as adults, and we always want them to be able to trust that we are giving them the best possible advice and have their interests at heart.

We are applying this same approach as we address the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to increase, First Place is taking all possible measures to keep our program participants and staff informed, safe, and healthy. This includes reinforcing guidance in public health best practices—frequent hand washing and sanitizing of surfaces, avoiding large crowds, monitoring themselves and their children for symptoms, and staying home if they feel ill.

To date, there have not been any confirmed or suspected cases of Coronavirus among First Place staff. However, we will be transitioning to teleworking (working away from First Place offices) from March 16 through March 27. Although we are closing our offices temporarily, our work with youth will continue. We are prepared to make ongoing adjustments to ensure our young people continue to receive vital support while minimizing the risk of exposure for staff and youth alike. We are monitoring developments closely and have established a response team to coordinate our efforts.

For our young people who have already been through many crises and periods of uncertainty in their lives, the unknowns that we are all facing in the current moment can be particularly stressful. In addition to questions about the health effects of the virus, we are also hearing from our young people that they are worried about their schooling, employment, and ongoing financial stability if they miss class or work due to illness or if their employers begin to limit hours or cancel shifts.

While we hope that these concerns remain hypotheticals, if and when they arise we will be there to help our young people persevere. Just as we would with any other hurdles or setbacks they encounter.

Thank you for your unwavering support of our work,

How you can help our youth protect their health and their futures:

Donate soap, hand sanitizer, or cleaning supplies –  In light of current store shortages, we invite you to drop off extra, unused soap, hand sanitizer, and bleach-based household cleansers or disinfectants. (Please contact Lauren Chiarulli at lchiarulli@firstplaceforyouth.org or 510-272-0979 ext. 301 to schedule a drop off time)

Give a tablet or laptop  – With many schools choosing to go to remote classes for the near future, access to a reliable computer at home will be a necessity for our young people’s continued success in school.

Make a monetary gift  – Your gift will help First Place to provide supplementary stipends to assist youth who face lost wages due to illness, limited hours, or other employment impacts during this time.

UPDATED 3/17/20: In accordance with “Shelter in Place” orders issued by Bay Area counties, we are extending our office closures through April 7th.

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