An Update to Our Supporters on the COVID-19 Crisis
Published on March 25th, 2020
From FSHD’s Founder and Executive Director Peter J. O’Connor
At this time of great worry and uncertainty for us all, I sincerely hope that you and all of your loved ones are in good health.
I, too, am practicing the “social distancing” exhorted by my friend, Dr. Anthony Fauci (Holy Cross ’62), but continue to work hard to provide leadership during this unprecedented crisis.
At Fair Share Housing Development (FSHD), I can assure you we are following CDC advice and have put strict measures in place to protect staff and everybody they come into contact with.
As you know, FSHD exists to protect and care for society’s most vulnerable citizens: low-income seniors, children and the disabled. So we are at this moment putting plans into place to reach out to hundreds of families in their homes in order to help mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on our residents’ health and well-being.
At our high-rise in Camden, Northgate II, which serves some 600 elderly poor and folks with disabilities, we are monitoring seniors with underlying health conditions through daily telephone checks to ensure they are well and have their medications. We’ve distributed non-perishable food items, water, toilet paper and other hygiene products to help ensure our residents have what they need to get through New Jersey’s mandatory “stay-at-home” order.
In Mount Laurel, the staff of the Margaret Donnelly O’Connor Education Center is setting up a virtual homework club to help the children of Ethel R. Lawrence Homes adjust to online learning, since all New Jersey schools are closed. We have established a Google Classroom for our kids. Staff will use direct message (DM), FaceTime and other technology to answer questions and provide support.
Additionally, Property Management staff at all of our affordable housing developments – which together house some 2,000 residents – are rotating days between working on-site and at home to ensure that each project site has full-time on-site coverage in order to ensure FSHD continues to provide high-quality service for which we are known.
Maintenance and security personnel are working full-time at our Northgate II development in Camden to ensure a safe environment and address emergency maintenance issues. Maintenance staff at all of our other projects are working full-time onsite to address emergency and other maintenance issues. We are grateful for their bravery and professionalism and ensure we are doing everything we can to keep our extraordinary staff - as well as our residents – safe.
Inevitably, these new interventions will place a considerable strain on our resources, which is why I am turning to you – and all of the loyal and compassionate supporters of Fair Share Housing Development.
Please, won’t you consider making a generous gift to help us fulfill our mission to serve the poor and support our families through this unprecedented crisis?
Today, perhaps more than most, we are hoping we can count on you. I, myself, am determined that we must continue to be there for our families over the weeks and months to come, when they may need us more than ever before. I hope you are in a position to help ensure this is the case by making a donation today.
With my thanks and prayers for your safety,
Peter J. O’Connor
Founder and Executive Director
Fair Share Housing Development