The current COVID-19 crisis is magnifying the concerns that the clients of H.O.P.E. already experience daily such as unemployment, food insecurity, living on a fixed income or having difficulty making ends meet.
According to a release from H.O.P.E., the organization has been providing and will continue to provide essential services to an already vulnerable population, and the needs and the number of those in need is expected to grow during the next few weeks.
“On-going clients and expected new clients need the services that H.O.P.E. provides, however, in response to COVID-19, we are modifying the services delivered to Cherokee County residents by reducing face-to-face contact to keep our clients, community and staff safe and healthy,” it stated.
Clients are asked to remain in their vehicles and either call inside for service, (903) 596-7781, or contact the following people email:
Kathy Barker, Clinic of H.O.P.E., kbarker@H.O.P.E.center.info
Ramona Johnson, Client Services, rjohnson@H.O.P.E.center.info
Lizette Salazar, PAAP/ Senior Box, lsalazar@H.O.P.E.center.info
Andy Davis adavis@H.O.P.E.center.info - Kitchen of H.O.P.E.
“We ask that clients not to gather at the front and back doors” to ensure safety of all, the release stated.
Modified services include:
• The Clinic of H.O.P.E. – “We will continue to assist patients but by phone only. Patients will receive a call at their appointment time. As per H.O.P.E.'s policy, the Clinic of H.O.P.E. helps patients with chronic conditions; and non- emergency matters. The Clinic of H.O.P.E. does not treat colds, test for the flu or COVID-19. H.O.P.E. is working on rapidly deploying a telemedicine service allowing Dr. Ballard to see patients virtually.
• The H.O.P.E. Manna Pantry converted to a drive through model of service on March 23. Clients will call the office for service, sign-up/sign-in for food by phone, then be assigned a pick-up number. Staff will pack the groceries, deliver them curbside, with an assigned number visible. Clients are asked to put the groceries into their car. If clients need help putting groceries in their car, the staff will help.
• The Prescription Assistance (PAAP) and Emergency Antibiotics Programs – all clients seeking PAAP/ Emergency Antibiotics will use fax, phone, or mail to submit applications or required paperwork. All inquiries regarding these programs are to be sent to Lizette Salazar lsalazar@H.O.P.E.center.info phone: (903) 586-7781; fax:(903) 586-2569 or by mail: 595 S. Ragsdale ST Jacksonville, TX 75766.
• H.O.P.E.'s Transportation services will continue, with a slight modification. “We will limit our pickup and drop offs to one client at a time and ask that clients be patient with any delay this may cause.”
• The Backpack Program – each Thursday, H.O.P.E. will distribute additional food through our Backpack Program to students seeking a meal at East Side Elementary during lunch distribution.
• The Kitchen of H.O.P.E. will continue to serve meals Monday through Thursday; however, the meals are for pick up only. No clients will be allowed to dine in the dining room.
• The Brown Bag program for those unable to leave their home will continue as normal and H.O.P.E. will still refer clients for emergency dental service if there is a provider available. Dental services are only for emergencies and clients are screened before a referral to a provider is made.
“H.O.P.E. continues to follow all CDC recommendations including but not limited to and in addition to our year-round daily cleaning measures: Every 2 hours, sanitizing common surface areas including door hardware, tables, seats, etc.; communicating online and to our partners, clients, and volunteers the precautions to avoid spreading COVID-19; continuing to monitor developments with Feeding America, Feeding Texas, East Texas Food Bank, the North East Public Health Department, the City of Jacksonville and CDC; communicating to volunteers and staff to stay home if sick; continuously reviewing and updating pandemic plans; conduct daily departmental briefings for communication updates and planning; enforcement of year-round volunteer policies, such as volunteers/staff wearing nitrite gloves during all food-handling activities; enforcing hand-washing procedures at clock-in, breaks and clock-out; and actively rejecting any volunteers/staff who demonstrate flu-like symptoms,” the release stated.
“It is with a heavy heart, but in our efforts to follow best practices for the collective health of the community, that the Board of Directors has decided to postpone H.O.P.E.’s bi-annual fundraising event, 'A Renaissance Night of H.O.P.E.,' which was scheduled for Saturday, April 18, 2020, at the Castle on the Lake,” it said. “H.O.P.E. will announce a new date for the event at a future time. Any tickets that have been purchased will be honored at that time and sponsors of the event are being contacted with more information.
“H.O.P.E. is aware that the impact of COVID-19 is rapidly changing and ask that the community visit our social media pages for updates. Please visit to Facebook & Instagram @hope.jacksonville; Twitter: HOPE_Jville; or the H.O.P.E. website http://hopecenter.info
H.O.P.E. is determined to continue to serve those in need as well as anticipate an ever-growing need in our community during this critical time,” according to the release.
Monetary donations or donations of food are greatly appreciated. To make a monetary donation please visit H.O.P.E.’s Facebook page, @hope.jacksonville or the H.O.P.E. website, http:// hopecenter.info.
Donations also may be sent to H.O.P.E., 595 S. Ragsdale St., Jacksonville, TX 75766.
Food donations of food can be dropped off at 595 S. Ragsdale St. in Jacksonville.