The COVID-19 crisis is affecting group homes for the developmentally disabled in unique and troubling ways. Individuals on the autism spectrum and others with developmental disabilities run the gamut from being incredibly capable with COVID-19 protective measures to having great difficulty. This disparity and disruption to long-standing routines are making prevention problematic. To make matters worse, caregivers are becoming infected and staff shortages are becoming an increasing problem.
This problem has been extensively reported in The Washington Post
To deal with the crisis and relieve some of the pressure, Nassau Suffolk Autism Society of America is partnering with very helpful and dedicated Long Island businesses to deliver food to group homes, giving staff the ability to concentrate on safety measures. Global distributor SYSCO Foods is providing food supplies while local business owners Jenny Medina of Outback Steakhouse Merrick, and George Michailidis of Outback Steakhouse Commack, along with Bagel Biz of Melville, and Carrabbas of Central Islip are cooking up dishes to deliver to the group homes. Rick Kaplan of BOUNCE and Cafe Testarossa of Syosset sponsored meals for a group home.
“These residents are particularly vulnerable”, says Suzanne Reek, Executive Director of NSASA. “We have been using our charity partner Outback Steakhouse to provide these delivered meals. Residents of these homes can not come home to their parents unless families are willing to take them home for a very long time. We use Outback because they have supported our group for more than ten years and have raised more than $200,000 for NSASA.”
Suzanne Reek and Assistant Director Michelle Iallonardi are coordinating the fundraising and food deliveries on NSASA’s Facebook page. You can donate to the effort here…