PLAINVILLE, Conn. — LISA Inc. has a home for young women who have lived through trauma in Plainville. Some, are survivors of abuse or neglect. For them, understanding the impacts of COVID-19 has been difficult.
“Sadness, scared. They feel you know, when is everything going to go back to normal? When do you think this is going to be over?” said program director Christina Cicero.
LISA Inc is a non-profit that aims to prepare youth for adulthood by connecting them with services and jobs, and most importantly establishing a routine.
“When they have that control of their schedule and their sense of normalcy, it gives them a sense of calm,” said Cicero.
Since routines have been disrupted, staff have been working to keep that sense of calm in some way.
“We’re doing a lot more life skills classes, we’re going for walks, we’re doing virtual yoga, our agency specifically offered us to do virtual art classes,” said Cicero.
Considered essential employees, the staff is still reporting to work every day.
“Our employees who report to work 24/7 are often the invisible essential workers,” said executive director Kim Selvaggi.
Providing extra support during this time is necessary but for non-profits like LISA Inc. and its partner Community Solutions Inc. it’s not always easy.
“We’re asking the governor and the state legislature to provide emergency funding for non-profits to make sure that we can cover additional costs
associated with the cleaning and the overtime costs for our staff,” said CEO of Community Solutions Inc. Fernando Muniz.
"It’s critical at this time because we have increased costs that aren’t built into our contract and non-profits were already really stretched thin," he said.
LISA Inc. gets a lot of support from the community and is asking for more of that support right now.
"We are in desperate need of thermometers believe it or not, that are used on the forehead so that they can be used somewhat touchless," said Selvaggi. "In order to keep everybody safe it is really necessary that we have enough masks, gloves, coveralls, and even face shields if in fact someone were to get ill," she said.
Through everything, the staff says its main priority is to remain positive for those who need it most.
"Yes it’s another day in this epidemic, but we will get through this, and that’s why positivity has to be the main driver," said Cicero.