The Hub on Smith has done tremendous job of providing services to our community despite the shutdowns related to Covid-19 and more recently the construction on the building to upgrade the HVAC system. I would like to take a moment to share with you why these services are so critical to our community.
Basic needs are generally defined as the minimal list of elements that human beings need, in order to fulfill basic requirements and achieve a decent life. Typically, the list includes basic commodities, such as food, clothing, and shelter, as well as essential services, as access to drinking water, to sanitation, to education, to healthcare facilities, and to public transportation. Broader definitions of basic needs further extend to psychological and social needs – such as participation, self-reliance, autonomy, and self-expression.
By this definition, you can see that The Hub on Smith is not only providing services to our older citizens – we are providing basic and essential needs through our programs.
- Meals – Though our congregate meal program ceased during COVID-19, our Home Delivered Meals program kicked into high gear to pick up the slack. This essential program has gone from delivering 150 meals per day to over 400 (served 365 days per year)! This Herculean effort by our team requires additional meal delivery supplies, additional staff to sanitize the delivery bags and two separate teams to prepare meals in our kitchen, as well as a whole fleet of volunteer drivers who continue to make sure our seniors have a hot meal every day of the week. For many seniors this is the ONLY meal they receive that day. Often the volunteer delivering the meal is the only person that senior will see that day.
- Goose Creek Transit – Though we experienced a temporary pause in our services at the height of our community’s COVID-19 restrictions, both our fixed route shuttle service throughout town and our door-to-door transportation for medical appointments has now resumed. We know that the availability of transportation is essential for our community to access groceries, local services, health care and employment opportunities and are working hard to ensure that our buses can continue running with increased safety and sanitation protocols in place.
- Hub Support Center – This important team has been in near-constant communication with our clients throughout our building’s closure, making daily phone calls and home visits as necessary, to ensure that clients are connected to the services that they need both within The Hub and throughout the community. Ensuring people are socially connected and well throughout their lifetime is one of our Support Center’s key functions and making sure our seniors don’t fall through the cracks has never been more important than it is during this time.
- Family Caregiver Support – We know how isolating social distancing can be for the seniors in our community and thus we are working hard to ensure that services like support groups are continuing to occur through the use of technology like Zoom video conferencing.
- Community Loan Closet – This important program that makes durable medical equipment available to the community at a nominal fee is continuing to serve the needs of our community with additional sanitation protocols in place.
- Help At Home – Our current social distancing protocols in the community have made even more pronounced the need for Help At Home’s services which allow people to remain in their homes longer, rather than being institutionalized and include home-making activities and personal care services.
- Day Break – Our adult day care facility is continuing to serve a limited number of clients throughout the pandemic, with careful screening of visitors and strict sanitation protocols. Our ability to continue to serve those who may be unable to stay home alone and whose family members work outside of their homes or need a break from caregiving has never been more important that during these challenging times.
- Community Outreach Services – Our team at The Hub is continuing to assist veterans and people of low-income with housing assistance, LIEAP applications, Medicare enrollment, Property Tax Refund programs, and other community assistance. We continue to strive to connect our clients with as many community resources as possible to meet their needs.
- Activities – While many of our in-house activities like Bingo and exercise classes have had to be put on hold, we continue to look for creative ways to bring activities and engagement to our clients. Our Fun and Wellness team is continuing to host weekly exercise classes online via Zoom and we have even played Bingo via our Home Delivered Meals deliveries. We hope to continue to provide as many opportunities as possible to keep our clients engaged and connected in fun activities throughout this challenging time. It is heartwarming to hear from patrons just how much they value these activities and the connections it provides for them.
As we reflect on 2020 and make plans for 2021, the staff and volunteers at the Hub are reminded and humbled by the value a phone call, a delivered meal, a ride to the grocery store, a zoom exercise class can have on a person who is feeling lonely and isolated. We may not know what 2021 holds for all of us, but we know we will continue to do our best to provide these services to our community. Thank you all of you that continue to help and support the Hub on Smith!