Our JASPER House Coordinator, Nicole McKinney, shared how the essential worker staff at JASPER House have pulled together to make sure their residents have all their needs met during these unprecedented times.
"The JASPER House Resident Advocate (RA) staff have exhibited great teamwork during this time of global crisis. The program lost three staff members in the last couple of months and several members of the RA staff rose to the occasion to aid the program by either offering or accepting a request to cover vacated shifts. One RA staff member, LaIngrid Lewis, covered several vacated shifts, including a recent day when she worked first shift and returned to work third shift. RA staff members Linda Taylor and Lakesha Bulger also volunteered and worked a number of shifts during this time, selflessly helping the program meet the needs of its clients. The JASPER House program has several residents who receive a weekly check and banks have closed their lobbies due to COVID-19. Staff member Lolitha Parker has initiated scheduling appointments with the local branch manager at Synovus Bank, making it possible for JASPER House residents to cash their checks so they may make needed purchases. As the program staff have been following the stay-at-home order only leaving JASPER House to attend medical appointments and bi-monthly Walmart shopping trips for essentials, several staff members have aided residents by going to the store on their behalf.
It would be amiss to not express gratitude for our Executive Director, Mitch Tarver. Prior to Alabama's outbreak of confirmed positive coronavirus cases, he became Master Addictions Counselor trained and certified to help the JASPER House program with coverage if needed. A time did come when he answered our call for help by covering a vacated third shift. In light of JASPER House not having a full-time nurse, he also allowed for the program to begin receiving care by a skilled nurse provided by a local nurse staffing agency. Nurse Lisa has been with us for a few weeks helping us and meeting resident needs each day during the workweek. All these things together have made this pandemic experience bearable for the program. I am immensely thankful and honored to work with this particular group of individuals during these unprecedented times. We're all in this together."