The Barnstable County Department of Human Services is celebrating the 300th edition of its e-newsletter! This is a wonderful information resource we provide to our region filled with health and human service topics of interest.
How the Barnstable County Department of Human Services Worked for Our Residents During the Pandemic
The pandemic accelerated the adoption and implementation of new technologies in local governments. Many local government employees have been working remotely, and Zoom meetings fast became the new communication tool. The Department of Human Services never missed a beat in hearing the public’s needs and serving them in a timely fashion, and it would not have been possible without the collaboration and dedication within our networks. Listed below are some of our efforts during the pandemic.
We created, analyzed, and disseminated daily epidemiological information on the impact of the outbreak on Barnstable County (tracking cases and deaths).
We coordinated with County Incident Commander and the Emergency Operations Center on the emergency response to homeless persons in Barnstable County; advise on resources and supports needed, including planning to secure an emergency shelter site, securing temporary sanitation and hygiene infrastructure, and coordination with service partners to understand and secure non-medical supplies.
We convened and facilitated weekly Covid 19 Homeless Emergency Planning calls to address needs of the homeless. 35+ entities participate on these calls including state and local elected officials, Barnstable County Incident Commander, Duffy, CCHC, Catholic Social Services, HAC, Homeless Prevention Council, Falmouth Human Services, Town of Barnstable PD, faith-based organizations, meal programs, visiting nurses, and other homeless provider organizations.
We provided guidance on accessing PPE to non-profits (HAC and CSS) and faith-based organization (Council of Churches Faith Family Kitchen) serving homeless. Submitted requests to MACC and coordinate delivery of PPE.
We compiled and disseminated food access information and delivery options for vulnerable families and individuals, collaborative effort with the Cape Cod Hunger Network, Cooperative Extension, Council of Churches and HAC.
We amended contracts with five partner organizations operating on Cape and Islands to allocate funds to COVID-19 responses for homeless youth and young adults, providing up to $45,000 in additional flexible funds to assist households experiencing financial hardship remain in their homes, this assistance includes providing immediate rental assistance.
We compiled and disseminated a County-wide informational flyer listing behavioral health telehealth resources.
We planned responses to newly released HUD Waivers that will allow Participating Jurisdictions to set up a process to utilize HOME funds for Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) for individuals and families experiencing financial hardships due to Covid-19.
We supported the recovery community by providing CDC, SAMHSA and DPH-issued best practices and guidance to sober homes and addiction providers.