COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 Response

Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Monroe Harding’s Response to COVID-19

Updated 4/28/20

Q:  How is COVID-19 impacting Monroe Harding?

A:  Our number one priority is the health and well-being of our young people, families, staff, volunteers, and partners. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 we temporarily closed our offices in March, including our Youth Connections Resource Center and Opportunity Now Reengagement Hub in downtown Nashville. Our offices will remain closed in May.

While our physical locations are closed, our staff is working hard to support our families and young people:

  • Foster Care: We continue to place children with foster parents. Staff are providing resources and guidance virtually to the greatest extent possible.
  • Supportive Housing: Young people remain in desperate need of housing. In the past six weeks, we’ve provided homes to four new youth, while also supporting existing residents as they cope with the stress of job loss or reduced hours, remote learning, mental health, and isolation.
  • Youth Connections / Opportunity Now Reengagement Hub: We continue to engage our young adults virtually, connecting them to necessary resources and promoting personal safety and self-care. We supported nearly 100 young adults since mid-March.
  • Clinical Services: Critical emotional and mental health services are being provided virtually. 

For Our Supporters . . .

Q:  How can I support Monroe Harding now?

A: The impact of COVID-19 on the Monroe Harding community highlights both immediate and longer-term needs for our foster care children, teens and families, and other vulnerable young people including basics like food and health supplies, virtual education and career readiness training, ongoing support for youth and families displaced from their jobs or impacted by economic hardship, and emotional and mental health support.

Your generous and thoughtful donation to support our efforts is more critical now than ever as we continue to meet the needs of our young people and families.  We greatly appreciate your support! Please visit https://www.monroeharding.org/donate/

We have an immediate need for Wal-Mart and Kroger e-gift cards that can be bought and sent directly to donate@monroeharding.org.

If you would like to discuss your support, please contact Leah Susi, Sr. Director of Development, at (615) 298-5573 or leahsusi@monroeharding.org.

Q:  Can I mail a check instead of donating online?

A:  Yes, we check our mail regularly and appreciate your donation by check if more convenient for you.

Q:  Are you accepting in-kind donations of goods and/or services right now?

A:  We currently are not accepting in-kind donations to distribute to our young people and families.  As we follow “Safer at Home” guidance and a phased re-opening, we are minimizing staff travel which includes picking up and distributing in-kind donations. However, if your donation consists of a large quantity of food and/or health supplies, please contact donate@monroeharding.org or Leah Susi, Sr. Director of Development, at (615) 298-5573 or leahsusi@monroeharding.org

Q:  Do you have any volunteer opportunities?

A:  Yes.  We offer ‘virtual’ volunteer opportunities and you can find them here. Please reach out to Amy at volunteer@monroeharding.org to find out about how to get involved.

For Our Parents . . .

Q:  If I’m a foster parent, will visits to my home still occur?

A:  No, not likely when there is a Safer at Home executive order from the State of Tennessee.  Visits will be conducted by videoconferencing when at all possible.  Face-to-face home visits ONLY will be conducted if you do not have videoconference capabilities.  The health and safety of your family, your foster child, and our staff are our number one priority. For more information, please contact Shan Edmondson, Director of Foster Services, at (615) 298-5573 or shanedmondson@monroeharding.org.

Q:  If I’m a foster parent, will visitation with my foster child’s birth family still occur?

A:  Yes. Videoconferencing will occur where permitted for supervised visits.  Court ordered visitation will continue, unless the court suspends the face-to-face visits. Check with your case manager for individualized plans or contact Shan Edmondson, Director of Foster Services, at (615) 298-5573 or shanedmondson@monroeharding.org.

Q:  If I’m a foster parent, do we have to take children to doctor appointments as scheduled?

A:  Yes, if the appointment is for initial physical (EPSD&T) or annual exam.  Please contact the health department for an appointment and directions. All routine dental exams currently are suspended. All children need to receive emergency care in any situation. Please notify your case manager if you have any questions or concerns or contact Shan Edmondson, Director of Foster Services, at (615) 298-5573 or shanedmondson@monroeharding.org.

Q:  Can you offer advice or refer to me to resources on how to talk to and support my teenager during the COVID-19 threat?

A:  Yes, Getting your teens into routines, modeling social distancing and cleanliness, validating feelings, acknowledging loss, and recognizing our mental health status is crucial.  In addition, we recommend the follow two resources:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-to-talk-to-teens-about-the-new-coronavirus-2020031419192

https://childmind.org/article/supporting-teenagers-and-young-adults-during-the-coronavirus-crisis/

For Our Young Adults  . . .  

Q:  Is Monroe Harding’s Youth Connections Resource Center accepting new students for their Hiset and high school diploma programs?

A:  Yes! In order to continue to meet the educational needs of our young people, we are offering virtual classes on a variety of platforms. For more information and to enroll, please contact Chaney Cruze, Director of Education, at (615) 714-4207 or chaneycruze@monroeharding.org.

Q: Will there be an Opportunity Passport™ enrollment class in May?

A:  Yes! We converted the training curriculum into an online format and will offer a May enrollment class. If you are interested in enrolling, please contact Emily Grohs, Life Skills Coordinator, at (615) 306-5316 or emilygrohs@monroeharding.org.

Q: Is there someone available who can assist me with finding a job?

A: Yes! Please contact Emily Grohs, Life Skills Coordinator, at (615) 306-5316 or emilygrohs@monroeharding.org. She is available Monday-Friday from 9 am to 5:30 pm.

Q: When is the next Works Wonders® training?

A:  We have converted the career readiness and employer engagement curriculum into an online format. If you are interested in enrolling, please contact Brittany Croom, Employment Specialist, at (615) 477-6007 or brittanycroom@monroeharding.org.

Q:  Who do I contact if I have general questions about current services and opportunities within the Youth Connections Resource Center?

A: Please contact Pamela Madison, Sr. Director of Young Adult Engagement and Opportunities, at (615) 714-9512 or pamelamadison@monroeharding.org. 

Q:  Is the Opportunity Now Reengagement Hub at Monroe Harding accepting new clients?

A:  Yes! We continue to work with young adults virtually who are victims of crime, connecting them to necessary resources to help them reach their educational and vocational goals.  Please contact Ginger Harris at (616) 487-0550 or gingerharris@monroeharding.org, or Lauren Jones at (615) 571-3622 or laurenjones@monroeharding.org.

For Employers . . .

Q:  I am an employer and I am interested in partnering with Monroe Harding to provide internships or paid employment to your young people. Who would I contact to discuss these opportunities?

A: Please contact Sarah Brock, Director of Career Pathways, at (615) 933-8308 or sarahbrock@monroeharding.org

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