GLSS News and Events

rss

Upcoming events and exciting news at Greater Lynn Senior Services

Free_COVID_Testing.png

Stop the Spread: The Commonwealth is launching a strategic testing program in communities across Massachusetts that have continued to see a higher number of residents testing positive for COVID-19.

Testing facilities will be available in these communities: Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Marlborough, and New Bedford

For complete details about testing locations go to
https://www.mass.gov/info-details/stop-the-spread#AlertsMA

This testing will be available July 10-August 14.

- Open to everyone
- You don’t need to have any symptom(s)
- No cost to you

Test results will be provided to each participant confidentially.
Participants are encouraged to share these results with their doctors.

glss transportation.jpg

Greater Lynn Senior Services (GLSS) is announcing that as of July 1, 2020, it will cease delivery of all transportation services. The difficult decision to close was based on several factors, including the MBTA’s decision not to renew the agency’s contract to provide The RIDE paratransit service and the current pandemic environment, which made operating transportation services very challenging.
 

Despite efforts to sustain its own transportation business, GLSS’ Chief Executive Officer, Kathryn C. Burns, MHA, said that it became clear in recent weeks that the agency would not be able to operate a transportation business at this time. The closure of its transportation department will not affect the many other important services offered by GLSS, including information and referral; home care; congregate meals and Meals on Wheels; protective and clinical services; housing supports; a variety of other community programs like caregiver supports; and much more. Consumers, who schedule trips directly with the MBTA, should not experience any disruption in service.

 

“I don’t think I can adequately express what GLSS Transportation has meant to our agency and to the community it has served so well for decades,” Burns said. “Staffed by hundreds of highly talented operations, support, and caring drivers, our transportation team carried the GLSS logo across the North Shore and Greater Boston areas, symbolizing what is best about our agency in providing them meaningful mobility options and fully promoting the mission of community livability and social inclusion.”

 

Since learning about the loss of the MBTA contract in October, GLSS Transportation has been working tirelessly to fulfill the remaining months of its contract, provide for a seamless transition of service, and to assist its staff to find positions with the two remaining vendors, which will now provide all the paratransit services west, south, and north of Boston. Burns noted that most staff were re-deployed to these other contractors.

“I know I speak for everyone at GLSS when I say how extremely grateful we are to all those who have committed themselves to this important work for nearly 20 years,” Burns said. “We are profoundly sad to lose these dedicated staff members, and we wish our colleagues well in their future endeavors.”

BrownBag_resuming_FB.png

The monthly Brown Bag Project, which takes place on the third Friday of each month in conjunction with the Greater Boston Food Bank, is resuming on Friday, June 19, 2020. Bags of food will be distributed outside from 9 a.m. to noon at the entrance to Greater Lynn Senior Services in the Senior Center parking area on Ellis Street.

Please remember- wear a mask and stay 6 feet away from others on the line.

Use_SNAP_online.png

The Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance has announced that as of May 29, residents can use their SNAP benefits to buy food online at Amazon and Walmart. For more details, go to https://www.mass.gov/snap-online-purchasing-program

The Food Project is hosting a Grab and Go Farmers' Markets this Saturday, May 23rd from 11:00 to 3:00 at Mount Vernon Street and Exchange Street. All produce can be purchased with SNAP, HIP, credit, debit, and cash. The attached flyers in English, Spanish, and Russian include details about market logistics and safety measures. 

Market Rules for Customers:
-Please stay home if you are sick, even with a cold. 
-Please stand 6 feet apart, on the chalk marks, while you wait for your produce.
-The produce is pre-bagged. We have to give it to you this way. Thank you for your understanding.
-Customers must wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth, as per city regulations.
-Please do not touch the produce, and wait for a staff person to hand you your bags.
-Staff cannot pack your reusable bags at this time.
-Please do not linger to ensure that everybody can shop safely.
-Please wash your produce before you eat it. 


Customers should NOT come if they are feeling sick, have been in contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID19, or have travelled outside MA in the past 14 days. As a reminder, SNAP customers can send their EBT cards with friends and family to purchase produce for them - vendors are not permitted to ask for any ID.

On Saturday May 16, from 9:00am to 2:00pm, the City of Lynn is sponsoring Care Kit Distribution Day at Lynn Tech 80 Neptune Blvd.  There will be a drive through and a walk up distribution of the kits.

Drive up: enter at Neptune Blvd
Walk in: enter at Blossom St.

Kits include: Masks, Sanitizing Supplies, Personal Care Items, Educational Materials

Materials will be distributed by members of the Lynn Fire and Police Departments.

Indian Rock Supportive Housing, Inc., is seeking a Property Management Professional for the Janet M. Leuci Residence (the property formerly known as Sachem Manor) located at 91 Denver Street in Saugus, Massachusetts, a residential community north of Boston.

The property is a 20-unit supportive housing complex designed for low-income residents age 62 and older.  The facility is designed to allow eligible residents to “age in place,” serving those still able to live independently as well as the very frail.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funded the project in 2008.  The property is owned by Indian Rock Supportive Housing, Inc., and overseen by a board of directors including local residents. Greater Lynn Senior Services (GLSS), an Area Agency on Aging and Aging Services Access Point located in Lynn, Massachusetts, serves as the project sponsor.

The Janet M. Leuci Residence comprises 20 one-bedroom, one-bathroom units.  All of the units are handicapped accessible; however, some have been specially modified to specifically meet the needs of wheelchair bound individuals and other residents living with disabilities. 

Interested parties may request application materials and more information by contacting:

Eileen Burk

Director of Evaluations

eburk@GLSS.net

Greater Lynn Senior Services, Inc.

781-586-8676

Completed applications are due no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 29, 2020.

GLSS is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in service delivery or employment on the basis of race, religion age, sex, national origin, or disability.

Partners in Health.png

The MA COVID Team and local boards of health are working together on a contact tracing program to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts.

Contact tracing is an important tool, and the MA COVID Team is part of the Community Tracing Collaborative created by Governor Charlie Baker. Everyone who has tested positive will get a call from their local board of health or the MA COVID Team, making sure they have the support they need, and to find out who they have recently been in contact with. The MA COVID Team or the local board of health will then talk to those contacts, encouraging them to get tested and to stay at home to avoid spreading the virus further.

Together with massive testing and hospital care follow up, contact tracing is absolutely essential to stop the virus and get our communities moving again.

What Happens Next? Answer the Call, Stop the Virus!

  1. You will receive a phone call from the MA COVID TEAM. The area codes

will either be: 833 or 857. It is important to ANSWER THE CALL. Answering the call helps everyone in our communities – someone else may be depending on your important input!

  1. How can I verify MA COVID Team is calling? MA COVID Team uses the area code 833 or 857 and your phone will say the call is from “MA COVID Team.” Calls will be made daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The MA COVID Team will not ask for social security information or health insurance information.
  2. During the phone call a Case Investigator will ask you for a list of all the people and places you were within 6 feet of during the 48 hours prior to your symptoms. For those who do not have symptoms, include all contacts 48 hours prior to your diagnosis.  The Case Investigator will also ask for the phone numbers of any people you identify so that they can be reached and notified about their exposure.
  3. While we encourage you to inform your contacts about your illness, the state will not share your information. The MA COVID Team will call your contacts and tell them they have been exposed to COVID-19 so they can get tested but will not release your name. This process is called contact tracing, and it is a very important part of fighting this pandemic and stopping transmission.
  4. The state will not share any information with immigration officials or ICE.
  5. If you are staying at home during the isolation period, the Case Investigator will also discuss any needs you may have for this time and may connect you with a Care Resource Coordinator who will help you get the support you need.
  6. A Case Investigator and/or your local board of health will check in on you regularly to monitor your symptoms and needs.

USEFUL RESOURCES:

2020 Census Three-Language Banner1.png

Several months ago, Greater Lynn Senior Services (GLSS) received a grant from the U.S. Census to assist in its efforts to ensure an accurate count in 2020 and especially focused on hard-to-reach populations. “The entire state of the 2020 Census is being challenged by the current public health crisis,” said Valerie Parker Callahan, Director of Planning and Development at GLSS. “Much of the most important outreach is often done by one-on-one visits to residences which have not responded by other means, which is not possible right now.” Most people will respond on line at www.2020census.gov, by phone, or by filling out a form, which was mailed to some households unlikely to respond via the Internet. Everyone should have received at least one invitation by mail to respond on line and perhaps a reminder over the course of the past few months.

Groups that may have difficulty responding include the homeless and non-English-speaking populations. “The census has provided outreach materials in numerous languages and geared towards migrant workers, homeless people, and other hard-to-reach groups,” Parker Callahan notes. “Our original outreach strategy was to get the word out through affordable housing sites, health center, and senior centers—community pulse-points where people naturally gather,” she said. “With our access severely curtailed for the foreseeable future, we are developing some creative alternative strategies.”

“The census only happens once every 10 years, so it is critical for the long-term well-being of our community that everyone, including undocumented residents, respond,” said Parker Callahan. “Especially right now, when so much funding could be jeopardized by the current pandemic, an accurate census is more important than ever.”

Banner Picture GTN.png

Typically held on the Tuesday after Black Friday in November, the global day of generosity and unity has been reset to occur now, as a way to come together and give back in response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19, recognizing that local nonprofits and human services agencies are in need of additional support right now during this public health crisis.

“We always have a compelling story to tell about the work we do,” says Kathryn C. Burns, MHA, Chief Executive Officer at GLSS. “And the story right now is that many programs are seeing an uptick in needs with no funding stream to support that.” Not surprisingly, the agency has seen a surge of new people seeking home-delivered meals and other food resources. “Many GLSS programs—especially some of our unique, innovative ones—meet a critical need but receive little or no state or federal funding, which essentially means they rely on foundation grants and private donations,” Burns says. She cited some of the agency’s award-winning clinical and counseling programs as examples, one addressing domestic and family violence issues and a counseling program that provides support to isolated people who are not currently in treatment. “These programs are needed more than ever right now,” she adds.

The Mobile Mental Health Program offers a “wrap-around” service approach, providing counseling as well as connecting vulnerable, already isolated elders to other services to meet basic needs. We work with elders already managing many mental health challenges, including depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, and grief and loss issues,” reports Meredith Anderton, LICSW, one of the program’s counselors. “The fear caused by the pandemic has really exacerbated these emotional challenges, and we are seeing an increase in people feeling the debilitating effects of ongoing isolation.” The program has transitioned to a telehealth approach and continues to provide support, assessment, and counseling to some of the community’s frailest individuals.

Many of the program’s consumers have requested increased contact during this time, so staff report they are working harder than ever to meet the need. “In one case, a client who requires a special diet found herself without any resources for obtaining food, and I was able to help her problem-solve the situation, bringing in GLSS’ Nutrition Department to help,” says Lynn O’Neal, LMHC, another counselor in the Mobile Mental Health Program. The client has since described the intervention as ‘life saving.” For many, interaction with their counselor is their only contact with another human being and life outside of their homes. “Another client told me, ‘I really appreciate you calling me and trying to help me. You're the only human contact I've had in weeks’," O’Neal added.

Other consumer needs that fall outside of GLSS’ budget limitations are often met by the Lique Living Legacy Fund, an emergency fund for low-income consumers named in memory of the agency’s long-time Executive Director, Vince Lique. It is often used to purchase things like furniture, medical equipment, and air conditioners or needed food and other supplies for people who are transitioning from homelessness to housing or from one living situation to another. “I had a consumer who needed to move to a new apartment due to plumbing issues,” says Marge DiVirgilio, LSW, a Senior Program Manager. “There was no one to help, but GLSS stepped in to provide a new mattress and bed, which were needed due to bed-bug issues.”

“We are so fortunate to have this resource, so we can help people experiencing emergencies in their lives—the kinds of unexpected things that happen in everyone’s life but that have an especially devastating impact on low-income people,” Burns stated. “And it is only possible, thanks to people in the community.” A COVID-19 Emergency Fund has also been established, which will be used to purchase supplies like masks and other personal protective equipment for GLSS’ front-line workers, like drivers providing critical transportation services or delivering Meals on Wheels and Protective Services case workers, the “boots on the ground” protecting the safety of vulnerable elders, some of whom are homeless.

GLSS is planning a campaign for the coming week to focus on how staff make a difference every day, especially right now. “You don’t have to wait until May 5 to show your appreciation to our staff for their tremendous contribution to keeping older people and adults living with disabilities safe and connected during this unprecedented time,” Burns notes. To find out how you can help, visit www.facebook/glss.net or www.glss.net.