by Armed Services YMCA San Diego
The Armed Services YMCA San Diego began pivoting in response to COVID-19 almost immediately after the State and County Health Departments issued stay at home orders.
Emergency Food Assistance – In Mid-March, the Armed Services YMCA, in partnership with the San Diego Food Bank, fundamentally changed the way they provide boxes of non-perishable food items. Their monthly Neighborhood Exchange food distribution at two sites, which distributed food to approximately 420 families monthly, were consolidated into one pre-registered drive through site distributing 400 food boxes weekly for an average of 1600 families served per month an increase of 281%. Due to the pre-registration families are waiting less than 10 minutes to receive their food package, which aligns with their goal of distribution with dignity. Additionally, they have collaborated with Feeding San Diego to distribute 8,000 children’s meals every Wednesday each month. This will serve 1,600 school-age children from 1,000 families. These efforts will reach thousands of military families during the coming weeks.
Childcare and Education: Online Programming – With on base childcare facilities and school districts shut down, they were asked by base and district leadership to play a role in filling the void. With children at home, families are in need of online Family & Youth Enrichment activities. Staff are already bringing their core programs – Operation Hero and Operation Little Learners – to families via Facebook Live and YouTube promoting connection and academic enrichment. Very soon they will also be offering onsite programming support for selected essential personnel families.
Clinical Counseling – Families being served by their Licensed Clinical Social Workers with counseling services have seen a shift from in-person sessions to on-line telehealth sessions using live video sessions to continue receiving the support they need. The number of Anxiety and Depression cases have increased significantly with the disruptions and isolation caused by COVID-19. Having tele-health options for counseling is an important part of meeting these needs.
Find out more about their emergency food assistance here and more information on clinical counseling here.