Our support and services will continue, no matter what.
Thank you for the outpouring of concern for our youth and families over the last week. This has been a time of uncertainty and instability for all of us, especially among our families, for whom food and housing stability has never been guaranteed. We believe that even in the face of a pandemic, relationships and connections cannot, and therefore will not, be cancelled.
We have found that we are in a unique situation today in that we have established relationships and are positioned to connect with families and quickly identify exactly what their needs are. For that reason, we created a fund that will allow our mentors, through comprehensive ongoing needs assessments and direct service, to meet the acute needs of all of our families.
As we triage the immediate needs of families–particularly food and supplies–we are also conducting needs assessments with each family. Each mentor at Friends will use the needs assessment to support the most critical family needs during this time–through food delivery, rent support, health kits and emergency supplies. The No Matter What fund will make this possible.
Here at Friends–Seattle, our mission demands that we walk alongside our youth and their families no matter what happens in their lives. This new normal means that we have had to creatively define what it means to be a “No Matter What” organization in the face of a pandemic.
Here is what remote service will look like:
While our mentors won’t be able to join children in classrooms, they are checking in with teachers to understand expectations and that youth have the materials and supplies they need to work on schoolwork at home.
They are setting weekly academic goals with each of their children. Our mentors will read with our kindergartners on FaceTime, support homework remotely and empower our high school students to stay on track for graduation and meet college application deadlines.
Mentors are completing a needs assessment this week, translated across a spectrum of languages. They will follow through with deliveries and weekly check-ins to make sure families are fed, housed and safe.
We will continue to maintain a strong connection with our youth and families because we know that having the consistency of connection and ongoing relationship–even through technology–will help us all to manage our stress during this challenging time.
While our mentors won’t be able to cook at our kitchen at the Friends office, they will be providing shared food resources, supplies and recipes for youth to cook with mentors online. We will stay present in each of these young people’s lives.
Despite the necessity of staying physically apart, we have the opportunity to come together and define what a resilient community looks like. With your support, our families will get through this. With your support, our mentors will continue their powerful relationships with their youth. And with your support, our youth will achieve their goals. Thank you for being a part of our community, no matter what.