In Their Own Words: New Opportunities
New Opportunities offers a variety of services including fuel assistance, housing assistance, early childhood education, training for foster parents, work experience programs, senior assurance programs, and the Meals on Wheels Program.
Every aspect of the work New Opportunities does has changed because of the pandemic. We shifted to remote engagement and engaging clients over the phone. While services like the New Opportunities Halfway House and emergency shelters operated in person, all programs implemented PPE and social distancing.
The support we received most directly helped our Meals on Wheels Program, allowing us to quickly mobilize and get meals out to seniors and the new seniors who were enrolling in the program due to the pandemic. In addition, we used our grant to create incentive pay for Meals on Wheels drivers as they took on more hours and more health risks. Lastly, we provided care packages for people moving out of shelters and into housing.
I am proud to be a part of an organization that can be responsive in the midst of a crisis. I think that the only way you are able to do that is if you really love what you do and care about your community and the people in it. I think we need to broaden our definition of what a hero is and include our meal delivery drivers, monitors at a residential site, emergency shelter, or a halfway house, and the cooks at those facilities.
We are very thankful to have partnering agencies that, right from the start, understood that action needed to be immediate for agencies on the front lines. We are very thankful.