As we expected, the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved significantly over the past few weeks. Several states, including New York, have taken executive action to drastically limit the number of businesses in operation in hopes of containing the spread of the disease. The health and safety of our participants, staff, and the community at large remain a top priority for CEO. For the past two weeks, our crews have been on the front lines providing crucial services at many government buildings that were deemed essential and had to remain open. However, things have shifted dramatically over the last week, and taking that under consideration, we have made the decision to shut down all work crews in New York City for the next two weeks.
The disruption we are all experiencing will fall hardest on our most vulnerable neighbors - including those returning from prison. Prior to this time, CEO participants faced overwhelming economic barriers as they returned home from incarceration. COVID-19 has magnified these already existing obstacles and will likely have a lasting impact on participants' ability to earn an income and support themselves and their families.
CEO is committed to supporting our current and past participants during this difficult time, but we cannot do this alone. Approximately half of our regular work crews remain functioning and are providing safe work opportunities for our participants. We are currently seeking to raise crucial funding that will ensure that our participants continue to receive the financial support they so desperately need.
Our dedicated staff members understand the importance of continuity and are working remotely so that we can continue to provide job coaching and job development support to our participants safely. During this period of instability, your support is more vital than ever in combating the economic insecurity that our participants face.