Legal-name: Arts and Services for Disabled, Inc.
Previous-name: Able ARTS Work (dba)
Address: 3626 East Pacific Coast Highway
City: Long Beach
Organizational-status: 501(c)(3) non-profit
Officer: Helen Dolas, Founder and CEO
ContactName: Kim Amadore
Title: Grant Consultant
GrantPurpose: To provide telehealth and virtual services to the 150 adults with disabilities we serve as well as to thousands of other adults with mental and physical disabilities that are in mental and emotional distress from being isolated.
Periodoftime: March 2020 to June 2020
Audienceserved: low-income adults with emotional and physical disabilities
Demoofaudience: The age of clients is a range from 18-65 years old. All are low-income.
Numberofserved: 150 directly and 1,000 (estimate) to be sent videos
District: 4th directly
1. What disaster recovery service have already been provided? The core of Able ARTS Work programming is our 30-hour a week day program for adults with moderate to severe mental and physical disabilities. The California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) provides 80% of the funding for us to serve 150 adults through this program. In lieu of COVID-19 and due to the fragility of our clients’ health, we closed our programming two weeks before DDS mandated it. Even though this costs us $30,000 in funding, we felt based on the CDC’s recommendation, it was the best way to protect our clients as 90% of them are in the high-risk category for becoming severely ill if they contracted the virus.
Immediately following the closure, we planned and trained our staff to shift their evidence-based therapeutic services to telehealth and virtual services. Staff has moved quickly to call all 150 clients and assess their technology capacity. We are moving to provide both staff and clients the technology they need to provide online services. Staff has made several videos for clients that are on our YouTube site (tinyurl.com/aawlearning) and will begin official online classes on Monday, March 30th.
Governor Newsom, in partnership with the DDS, sent a letter in response to the crisis and recognized how vulnerable our population is and how dangerous it is for these services to go away. If our clients contracted the virus, they wouldn’t have a fighting chance due to their medical fragilities. Our entire staff is working overtime and some for free to plan programming to take care of our clients’ mental health and to ensure that they stay safe. Their love for the clients and motivation to keep them healthy has been beautiful to witness. Our goal is to keep their auto immune system strong through community engagement and connectivity. Boosting their immune system through this engagement, being able to express and lower anxiety and stress that can deplete the immune system is key for their mental health and physical health.
Currently, our Southern California Regional Centers who oversee our program as well as many others, are looking at what we’ve done in the last couple of weeks and asking us to provide training and share our videos and online format with other programs like ours. This has the potential to impact thousands of adults with disabilities and their caregivers who are home in isolation. In addition, our CEO has just been asked to be featured on the American Music Therapy Association’s social media platform to highlight the disaster relief online services we are providing.
2. What disaster recovery service will be provided by this grant? : We will continue to offer creative arts therapies to address the issues and challenges of this time. Through our telehealth and virtual services, we will be able to reach not just our current clients and support their families but we’ll also work to identify others who are also isolated and have no services. Some of our clients live alone and do not have anyone to turn to for help. Staff has built a solid relationship with our clients and will continue to offer a safe space to process what is happening during this pandemic and also to help assess in case any of them are in trouble.
Services provided will be one-on-one phone sessions, Monday through Friday zoom group classes, and videos made by staff to educate clients and help their mental health. Staff has been working on and will continue to do the following tasks during this disaster:
-connecting with homes/clients helping them sign up for virtual classes, and touching base with clients.
-creating three course descriptions each to provide virtual services on zoom.
-creating lesson plans in two week increments per class.
-creating lesson plans for individual music therapy and art instruction via zoom (many clients are signed up for 1:1s).
-creating scripts for their zoom classes.
-creating content, scripts, filming, editing and uploading recorded video tutorials that range from 3-12 minutes.
-creating trainings for restrooms, feeding, and client assistance needs at program.
In order to offer these services, we need to continue to train staff, purchase additional technology that also can be used once our programs resume, send materials to our clients, increase our technology data plan, and support staff positions to carry this endeavor through with high quality production. The total cost of our disaster relief virtual services plan is $50,500. We’re requesting $18,500 from the LB Disaster Relief Fund Grant.
3. What organization and or individuals will you assist? : Our disaster relief virtual services will offer mental health assistance to our 150 clients, their caretakers, and other adults with mental and physical disabilities that are homebound and isolated. Our virtual services have the potential to reach over 1,000 adults with disabilities.
Able ARTS Work’s clients are adults between the ages of 18-65 with moderate to severe mental and physical disabilities. These are our onsite clients that receive the most intensive Monday -Friday services year round. Clients have disabilities that include Mental Retardation, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Vision Loss, and Downs Syndrome. The majority (97%) of these students are unemployed, low-income, and qualify for Social Security Disability. Their ethnic make-up is (25%) Hispanic, (15%) African American, (10% ) Asian, (45%) Caucasian, and (5%) other races.
Many of our clients attend our day program for the therapeutic services that we offer. Many have a duel diagnosis of mental health including anxiety and depression. Some are going through major life situations like family terminal illness and loss. Mental health services are something we provide them daily. Closing our doors these past two weeks has produced major anxiety and fear for our clients. On top of these already trying mental health issues they are now having to navigate isolation and social distancing, something most do not understand.
Offering these services remotely is providing a much needed service to keep them healthy and engaged. It keeps them connected to those they see daily and care about, especially if they don’t have family to connect with.
In addition, families and caregivers are overwhelmed with having to care for our clients around the clock without a break. Our services are supporting them as well.
4. What other disaster recovery funds have you received? What amount?: We have received emergency disaster relief from The John Gogian Family Foundation- $17,500, the William Ross Foundation – $5,000, Molina HealthCare -$500 donation from, and $1000 from an individual donor.
5. What other disaster recovery funds have you applied for?: We have been working diligently with Regional Centers to support the transition to remote services to mitigate interruption of client services and maintain support/engagement especially for clients who have difficult experiences with change. Our Director of Development has developed a giving campaign and has reached out to past donors. Our Grants Consultant has reached out to our current funders some of whom have already provided support as seen above. Our programs operate at four sites and we’ve arranged agreements with our landlords to pay half the rent during this period. Without full funding from DDS, we could lose up to $50,000 per month with our programs closed. We have already had to reduce several staff positions to part-time.
We are also considering applying for an emergency disaster loan from Small Business Administration.
Any support from the Long Beach Community Foundation will be much appreciated!