A MESSAGE FROM LAURA SNYDER, RHA CEO
MONIQUE JONES, RHA HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER
March 17, 2020
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been working with many community partners and other HR departments around our community who, like you, are facing an unprecedented challenge: keeping their employees and communities they serve safe.
Many of you are implementing work from home or other social distancing arrangements in response. We know how complicated this can be.
We believe it’s our responsibility to do our part, and to explore all options for how we can help other organizations do the same.
We are combining a library of resources based on best practices and information links in response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). You will find this Links below. These are compiled resources on how to prevent spreading the disease, help for vulnerable populations and the most current information which you may find useful.
Nobody knows for sure how this health crisis will play out. What we do know is that businesses and organizations in our community who respond quickly and decisively will reduce the impact on employees and organizational results.
Remember, you are not alone. Everyone in our community is facing this, and none of us has had a lot of time to prepare. Your employees, colleagues, families and even friends maybe looking to you for guidance, a sense of security and a sense of continuity. For our community residents we’ll be with you and we will support you in every way we can.
We have put together for the Rockford Housing Authority’s Team with mutual support of AFSCME and IAM/AW Union Local Leadership, the following emergency policies and all accessible resources to stay well educated on applied measures so that the RHA Team will implement to limit their exposure to this virus. This will help ensure the well-being of our residents, which remains a top priority for the Rockford Housing Authority.
In an effort for complete transparency, guidance and a resource for you we are sharing these polices.
Thank You and Take Care,
RHA Human Resources Manager
ROCKFORD HOUSING AUTHORITY EMPLOYEES
DOING OUR BEST TO NAVIGATE THE UNCHARTERED TERRITORY
As with all other agencies throughout our country, we are doing our best to navigate the unchartered territory of CoVid19. Your executive team continues to monitor this crisis and adjust our policies and practices where needed. Amid today’s challenges, our employee’s safety, health, and the well-being of our residents remain a top priority. As this situation evolves, we will continue to update you, and we encourage you to use all available resources to stay well educated on practical measures you can take to limit your exposure to this virus.
The majority of the population that we serve is one that is the most vulnerable to this virus. Therefore, we must remain in operation and be vigilant in our practices to maintain a safe and sanitary environment.
Effective immediately, until further notice, in addition to the methods that were put in place recently, the following practices will be put into place:
Furniture in the lobby will be removed/rearranged to allow for no more than five occupants at a time. A posting will be placed at our main entrance announcing the limitation to all visitors. If at capacity, those awaiting an appointment will be asked to provide a cell phone number that we can send a text message too, informing them when they may enter the lobby area.
All hearings will be scheduled as conference calls or skype meetings.
Occupancy specialists will attempt to host all meetings via telephone. For those already scheduled, the occupancy specialist will cease work activities daily at 4:15 pm. At 4:15, the specialist will reach to any client scheduled for the following day and ask if they can bring the necessary paperwork to the office dropbox. If they are unable to reach the client or an in-person meeting is essential, the specialist should ask the client if they or anyone within their household has displayed any flu-like symptoms in the last 14 days. If so, the appointment will be rescheduled. If not, the meeting will take place in the hearing room or conference room to allow a 6-foot range between the specialist and the client. Both the specialist and the client will wear protective gloves for the exchange of paperwork.
Inspectors will return to COCC each day by 4:15 pm. At 4:15, the inspector will reach to any client scheduled for the following day and ask if they or anyone within their household has displayed any flu-like symptoms in the last 14 days. If so, the appointment will be rescheduled. If not, when arriving at the home the next day, the inspector should again ask about any flu-like symptoms. If the inspection is to be completed, the inspector will wear the appropriate personal protection equipment at all times while in the home. Immediately discarding each upon exit.
No more than two persons in any one office at one time, including staff members. Signs will be sent to the property management team for posting on office doors.
For further clarification, one staff member and one client per office at any given time. If a client is in the office with the property manager, the assistant manager, or maintenance personnel should not enter the office. Or, if there are two staff members in an office, a client should not enter.
Recertification paperwork should be put into the onsite drop box, eliminating the need to meet with the resident face to face.
Rent payments need to be placed in the dropbox, not brought into the office.
Blackhawk: The Blackhawk offices do not allow for the same opportunities for essential meetings as the other property management offices. Therefore, Blackhawk will lock the North Entrance, forcing anyone that wishes to enter into the building to use the South Entrance. Meetings that must be done in person are to be completed in the community room to allow a 6-foot range between staff and the client.
PLEASE NOTE: TO ALL ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF
When removing items from the dropbox, please open the box, spray the contents with Lysol, and leave for no less than five minutes. When lifting and opening items, please wear protective gloves. Be sure to dispose of the gloves when tasks have been completed.
Work orders will be completed on an emergency basis only. All maintenance staff should take this time to focus on the vacant unit turns.
When a work order is called into the office, the property management teams will make the resident aware of this practice. If maintenance must enter a unit, personal protective gear must be worn and discarded immediately upon exit of the unit.
RESIDENT SERVICES STAFF
Follow up meetings or interviews with FSS, ROSS, or Resident Specialist clients; please adhere to the above guidelines for property management and HCV staff. Please work directly with the property management staff to secure a meeting location that will allow for a 6-foot range between all parties and use the same precautions for the exchange of paperwork.
For any staff member coming into contact with outside mail items, please wear protective gloves, ensuring that you are changing and discarding them as often as needed throughout the day.
For any questions or concerns regarding the above practices, please speak with your program manager or Director.
Thank you for your attention to these provisions. Please contact the HR Manager, Monique Jones, 815-489-8741 office or 815-299-8416 cell, for questions or concerns.
IN COOPERATION WITH AND SUPPORT OF:
These Links below are compiled resources on how to prevent spreading the disease, help for vulnerable populations and the most current information you may find useful.
General Coronavirus Information
- CDC, “COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers”
- CDC, “Steps to Prevent Illness”
- CDC, “COVID-19 Symptoms”
- CDC, “What to do if you are sick with coronavirus disease 2019”
- CDC, “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary”
- HUD COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) information and resources
- Health Resources & Services Administration, “Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions”
- World Health Organization, “Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19)”
- World Health Organization, “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public”
- World Health Organization, “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters”
- Harvard Medical School, “Coronavirus Resource Center”
Recommended Cleaning Protocols and Disinfectants
For Individuals Experiencing Homelessness/Homeless Service Providers
- CDC, “Interim Guidance for Homeless Shelters”
- HUD, “Infectious Disease Preparedness Among Homeless Assistance Providers and Their Partners”
- HUD, “Infectious Disease Toolkit for CoCs”
- HUD, “Questions to Assist CoCs and Public Health Authorities to Limit the Spread of Infectious Disease in Homeless Programs”
- HUD, “Specific Considerations for Public Health Authorities to Limit Infection Risk Among People Experiencing Homelessness”
- HUD, “Eligible ESG Program Costs for Infectious Disease Preparedness”
- HUD, “Using Continuum of Care Program Funds for Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response”
- S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, “Planning and Preparing For Covid-19 (Coronavirus)”
- National Alliance to End Homelessness, “Coronavirus and Homelessness”
- National Low Income Housing Coalition, “Responding To Coronavirus: Ensuring Housing Stability During A Crisis”
- Org Code, “Pandemic Planning and Services that Support People Who are Homeless”
Urban Institute, “How Programs Addressing Homelessness Can Prepare for the Coronavirus”