Openhouse's Response to COVID-19

"We are doing everything we can to encourage folks to stay home, while doing everything we can to help people feel connected," Openhouse Executive Director Karyn Skultety, Ph.D.

Dear Community Members, Supporters and Openhouse Friends-

Openhouse continues to work closely with the CDC, San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH), the Department of Disability and Aging Services and our aging service partners to address the evolving situation with the Corona Virus (COVID-19) in our communities. We continue to follow the SFDPH aggressive recommendations to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and ask that everyone do the same to support our seniors. These recommendations include “social distancing” and limiting all non-required group activities, especially for older adults and persons with underlying health conditions due to increased risk for severe illness and complications from COVID-19. At this time, we have decided to cancel all Openhouse senior programs and group activities through the end of March. However, we are continuing to do everything we can to support LGBTQ seniors.

We are here for you.

Assistance with services and housing navigation are available by phone, as well as phone support for case management clients and residents. In-home visits will occur if a health or safety risk needs to be addressed. We have began check-in calls to our community members and encourage community members to request a check-in/support call from us as needed. At this time, we are working on setting up phone and/or Zoom meeting activities–more information on this to come.

For additional information or to request assistance with services/housing or just a call to feel connected, call our main number: 415-296-8995

On March 13th, Openhouse provided our first of a series of virtual town halls, where I shared information about Openhouse plans and answered questions regarding COVID-19 (you can find the recording to the left). As we identify future updates, Openhouse encourages community members, supporters and those interested in how they can help to join via our Facebook page.

Lastly, I want to again emphasize that this is a time to come together, not to direct fear towards others. It is painful for me to share with you that Openhouse staff and members of our community are experiencing threats of racial violence and harassment both on-site and across the Bay Area. We must engage in ally-ship by standing up to this kind of behavior and countering stigma by learning and sharing facts such as the CDC document we have attached to this email. Viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups. Let us all target our energy to building bridges even in this time of disconnection.

We are in this together.

In Community,

Karyn Skultety, PhD
Executive Director

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