Sometimes I forget that I am carrying the backpack and other days I can feel it a lot.
In response to COVID-19, Gerard’s House has completely transformed our services. In March, we switched all grief support groups to a virtual format. But the more seismic shift has been in the amount of casework we provide. Immigrant families in Gerard’s House’s Nuestra Jornada program, especially, have been disproportionally impacted by lay-offs in the service industry and often do not have access to government relief. Throughout 2020-2021, Gerard’s House has reached out to the parent/caregiver of every family in our care to assess their basic needs, provide resources and emotionally support families emotionally through their grief, anxiety, family conflict and other struggles. Whenever possible, we fill out applications and make calls together to address basic needs and connect families with services and emergency funds. By the end of 2020, we will also have distributed more than $100,000 in direct financial assistance to grieving families in need.