HCM'S RESPONSE TO COVID-19 — CONTINUING THE LEGACY OF THE SISTERS OF THE HOLY CROSS
THEN: Holy Cross Ministries' tradition of serving vulnerable families in this community dates back to 1875 when the first two Sisters of the Holy Cross traveled Utah to establish a hospital for injured miners and railroad workers. They were met by a community that had diverse and serious needs, so they set to work immediately. Over the past 145 years, the Sisters continued responding to the unmet needs of Utah’s underserved by erecting hospitals, grade schools, and orphanages and serving on the frontlines during Utah’s AIDS crisis. Today, especially given the current crisis, we honor this legacy of compassionate care through our work in health outreach, mental health counseling, early childhood education, and legal immigration services.
NOW: During this critical time, Holy Cross Ministries (HCM) continues to respond to Utah’s underserved community’s need for health and well-being. Vulnerable, at-risk families and individuals are experiencing the detriments of the evolving COVID-19 public health crisis in many ways. Our clients are facing increased challenges due to unexpected loss of income, resulting in food and housing insecurity, lack of sick leave/paid time off and limited or no access to health care coverage nor federal benefits. Families we serve are in need of resources and a network of support more than ever. Many of the clients we serve will not be eligible beneficiaries of the Cares Act stimulus package benefits, which further exacerbates their needs. HCM remains fully committed to serving those in need and continues to provide all services through virtual platforms to ensure the health and safety of staff and clients. Our ongoing efforts and services include:
- Connecting at-risk families to food pantries and access to other basic essentials (diapers, personal care items, clothing, etc.)
- Offering trauma-informed Skype counseling sessions
- Holding Zoom preschool classes
- Administering interactive and educational virtual "home visits" to families with children ages zero to three
- Healthcare system and benefits navigation assistance over the phone
- Victim advocacy assistance over the phone
- Conducting legal immigration intakes via phone
- Providing 2020 Census support
YOUR SUPPORT HAS NEVER MATTERED MORE
Holy Cross Ministries remains committed to our legacy of compassionate service in Utah and responding to unmet needs, but we cannot do it alone. PLEASE CONSIDER making a DONATION TODAY to support our work and help make an immediate and lasting impact on the lives of those who are less fortunate. With your help we will continue providing critical services to our clients for the duration of this pandemic and its aftermath.
HCM is helping families in crisis
Elena* and her 18-month-old daughter, Marisol*, are participants in HCM’s Parents as Teachers (PAT) home visiting program. Several weeks ago, Elena and her husband Manuel* both lost their service industry jobs in Park City as resorts and restaurants shuttered. Immediately afterward, Elena began feeling very anxious, worrying how she and Manuel could continue providing for Marisol and their three older children. Several days later, Manuel developed a painful cough and a high fever. Fearing the worst, Elena took him to a drive-through coronavirus testing center, where Manuel tested positive for COVID-19.
When Elena learned of Manuel’s diagnosis, her anxiety turned to panic. How could she care for four children with no income and a husband who couldn’t leave his bed? Unable to keep these worries to herself, Elena shared all her fears with her PAT Parent Educator, Hilda, during a video conference “home visit” later that day. Hilda assured Elena that, as insurmountable as these challenges seemed, there were places she could turn for help and that Hilda would be with her every step of the way.
Hilda quickly connected Elena’s family with a free meal delivery service, so they could avoid the grocery store and quarantine at home while Manuel recovered, and provided the family with masks, diapers, basic pantry items and other essentials donated by community partners. Hilda also helped Elena apply and qualify for a rent assistance program and connected her with Sister Veronica Fajardo, a therapist in HCM’s Counseling Program. Elena now talks with Sister Veronica on a weekly basis and says their conversations and the relaxation techniques she learned in these sessions have eased her anxiety immensely. Elena has shared that she is so grateful she could turn to HCM in this moment of crisis. She reports she now has peace of mind, knowing she is not alone and that she can always turn to Holy Cross Ministries for support.
*In order to protect the privacy of those we serve, alternative names and images are used.