Wednesday, March 18, 2020

IMPORTANT! Please read the below message from our Immigration Law Clinic attorneys, Lesley Glennon and Melissa Indish:

Effectively immediately, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in the interest of public health, is suspending all face-to-face services with applicants, including interviews and naturalization ceremonies. Until April 1, 2020, all USCIS field offices, asylum offices and Application Support Centers (ASCs) will not provide in-person services, unless an emergency service is needed. Please read more here regarding the USCIS closure.

In addition, effective March 17, 2020, the Immigration Law Clinic at St. Vincent Catholic Charities (STVCC) is temporarily closing our offices. The well-being and safety of our staff and clients is at the forefront of our thoughts and actions and, as a result, STVCC is working to mitigate the effects of the virus in our community.

Although we, too, are suspending face-to-face meeting with clients, we want to reassure our clients that we’re actively working and monitoring their case. In some instances, we may still take cases remotely and have clients pay by credit card over the phone. It is our desire to be both proactive in keeping everyone healthy and safe, and also continue the important work of Immigration Law. We are dedicated to providing outstanding service to our clients and appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we work through this rapidly evolving situation.

Please reach out to either Lesley (glennol@stvcc.org), Melissa (indishm@stvcc.org) or call 517-323-4734 ext. 1800 for further questions or concerns. We thank you for your patience and will continue to keep you updated.

Sincerely,
Lesley Glennon and Melissa Indish
Immigration Law Clinic Attorneys


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

As we collectively continue to monitor the novel coronavirus, our leadership continues to touch base daily on this topic and make decisions we think are best to keep our STVCC community healthy and safe. Our social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram) will be updated by our Director of Communications (Ali), making the community and our clients aware of the temporary changes, noted below.

SERVICE CENTER:
The front desk reception area is closed until April 6, 2020. The Service Center will remain open (with doors locked) during regular business hours (8:00am – 4:30pm).  Clients ONLY with appointments (or Refugee Service clients between the hours of 8:00am – 12:00pm) will be allowed to enter the building, ONLY by the designated staff member. We will be CLOSED to the general public. Doors may not be propped open for any reason.

CLIENTS:
All clients entering the SC, MUST be health screened; see below for health screening questions.  If the client answers “YES” to any of the following, OR has a temperature of 100+ degrees, the following needs to occur:

  • Politely send the client home
  • Instruct the client to contact their health provider
  • Ask the client to re-schedule their STVCC appointment at a later time

STAFF:
Take direction from your supervisor on whether your position is considered essential or non-essential.  We are expecting all staff to self-report from home before entering our work environment (using the health screening questionnaire, below). If you answer “YES” to any of the following, OR have a temperature of 100+ degrees, stay home and contact your healthcare provider for further direction. Follow the call-in procedure for your department AND contact HR.

  • All non-essential staff should avoid entering the workplace if at all possible.  Working remotely is preferred, if possible with your position.  Your supervisor needs to approve.
  • All essential staff should limit hours in the workplace where possible.
  • All staff should limit movement between buildings and departments when possible.

HR CONTACT INFO: For calling-in during this period, you may call either work or cell phone numbers. Your two contacts are:

  • Shawn Koster (HR Manager); cell phone: 517.214.5829
  • Maria Zdybel (Director of Administrative Services); cell phone: 517.505.6050
  • Supporting documents may be scanned and emailed, texted, faxed, or mailed via USPS.
  • Email: health@stvcc.org
  • Fax: 517.886.1191
  • Business Phone: 517.323.4734

Along with many others, we are doing our best to mitigate the spread of the virus across our state and country. We know that these measures will not be effective in protecting every individual, but we can slow the extent and spread of the virus and potentially save many lives. We are making our operational decision based on healthcare practices that will keep us safer – and we need everyone’s cooperation.

Finally, I want to thank you for your understanding this past week. The coronavirus situation is evolving quickly, and we have had to adjust many elements of our lives. The dedication I have witnessed to support our kids, clients – and one another – is uplifting. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Maria A. Zdybel
Director of Administrative Services


Monday, March 16, 2020

Service Center: Effective Tuesday, March 17, STVCC will be closing the Front Desk receptionist services at the Service Center building until April 6.  

Entry to Service Center:  Entry will be limited to the front door and the employee entrance will be disabled. The lobby will be unlocked for clients, employees, and other individuals that are able to contact workers, however, the entrance further into the building is contingent upon a negative health screening (including temperature reading; see form attached). We will have a supply in the front lobby. We have one thermometer for the whole building, and it will stay in the front lobby.  Note: you cannot authorize yourself, it must be done by another person. 

Refugee Services will have a desk to accommodate and serve clients in the front lobby. The individual sitting at the desk is NOT the ‘designee’ for health screening everyone from other areas. 

Mail Service:  Mail will continue to be sorted and placed in Program/Department bins in the mailroom.  Each area should assign a person to pick up the mail. 

I know it can be alarming to follow the news of COVID-19 spreading around the globe. While there is still much unknown about the virus, we are working with the best information available to guide our decision-making. As the situation evolves, we remain focused on balancing two imperatives: ensuring that we take prudent precautions to protect our staff, kids, clients and community, while continuing our daily, life-changing work to serve the most vulnerable children and families. Every action we have taken in recent days has been with this balance in mind.

The strength our of agency comes from embracing our diversity and working together to ensure we provide the important services to our clients. Please remember this: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline” (2 Tim 1:7).

Thank you for all the ways you have stepped up to support our clients and colleagues over the last few days, despite the circumstances. You have each shown grace and understanding – and have truly embodied hope in this unprecedented time. I am privileged to serve alongside of you.

Sincerely,

Maria A. Zdybel
Director of Administrative Services


Monday, March 16, 2020

HR Guidelines and FAQs
(effective through April 5, 2020)

Q1) Working from home: 

STVCC is encouraging flexible scheduling and working remotely through April 5, 2020, where applicable by position.  Unfortunately, not all positions have this flexibility.  Please work with your direct supervisor to see if this is an option for you. 

Q2) Missing work:

  1. No childcare due to school/daycare closures: STVCC asks that you make every effort to find alternative care. If you have no option and are unable to work, follow the call-in procedures for your department AND you must notify HR that you’ll be absent and why.
  2. If you’ve have been asked by your healthcare professional to self-quarantine, been diagnosed with COVID-19, or you’re caring for a family member that needs to be quarantined: Follow your department’s protocol for not coming to work (you only have to say you’re out sick), AND you must notify HR that you’ll be absent and why.
  3. If you have a medical condition where your immune system is compromised, you have a serious chronic medical condition, or you are pregnant: You are considered to be high-risk for contracting COVID-19.  STVCC advises and encourages you to work remotely if possible, for your position.

For any of the situations mentioned above, you will need to cover your absences with PTO, Sick or Vacation accruals.  Even if you are someone who does not has enough time to cover your absences, NO ONE will lose their position during this period when the circumstances are out of your control. However, those who do not have enough time to cover absences will go unpaid.

STVCC will not be requiring a ‘release to return to work’ if you are out for more than three days during this crisis.

Q3) Fear of working at STVCC during this period:

The health and safety of our staff and clients is our top priority.  However, we are the care providers for those that are most vulnerable and have been victims themselves.  If you can be at work, we need you!  Our clients need you! 

STVCC’s CH is fortunate because most employees and the children are in a very low-risk category.  The Leadership Team has taken many additional measures for operations to further limit your risk of exposure at work.   Missing work because of your fear will not exempt you from attendance disciplines, even if you have accruals to cover your time away.

Q4) What if STVCC closes?

Information is changing minute by minute, and there may come a time when STVCC closes due to COVID-19. The CH will never close, and that is not an option for that program.  If we close all other programs, employees would be eligible to file for unemployment, as long as you are well and could report to work.  If you could not report to work during this crisis due to a medical reason, you would not meet the eligibility criteria established by the State of Michigan.  

Q5) What if I contract COVID-19 while working at STVCC?

You could be eligible for worker’s compensation.  If it can be substantiated, contact HR to file a claim.

HR CONTACT INFO:  For calling in during this period, you may call either work numbers or cell phones.  You have two contacts:  Shawn Koster (HR Manager) and Maria Zdybel (Director of Administrative Services).  Supporting documents may be scanned and emailed, texted, faxed, or mailed via USPS.

Email: health@stvcc.org
Fax: 517.886.1191             
Business Phone:  517.323.4734
Cell Phones:  Shawn Koster: 517.214.5829     Maria Zdybel: 517.505.6050

Sincerely,

Maria A. Zdybel
Director of Administrative Services


Saturday, March 14, 2020

Dear friends and supporters,

The health and safety of our clients, supporters, staff, and the community is STVCC’s top priority. We are closely monitoring the situation surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and taking action where needed. At this time, we wanted to reach out to you and inform you of the precautions we are taking, and some of the temporary changes we are implementing at STVCC.

Visiting STVCC:
Our tours are a great opportunity for people to experience the transformation and healing being done in the Children’s Home every day. However, for the time being, we will not be conducting tours of our Children’s Home. If you are interested in scheduling a tour, please feel free to reach out to our Development Team at donate@stvcc.org, and we will be happy to schedule a date in the spring or summer.
You can also experience the Children’s Home and one of the many success stories by watching this video.

If you have an appointment at STVCC but are not feeling well, or think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, please call 517.323.4734 to reschedule for a later date.

Communication:
As always, we are here to serve you and our community. Our highest priority with our donors is maintaining a quick turnaround for gift acknowledgements. At this time, we ask you to be patient with us as our communication may be slightly delayed.

STVCC Events and Fundraisers:
At this time, AFAR’s Refugee Benefit Concert on March 22 benefiting STVCC’s refugee services, is being postponed for the safety of our community. We hope you will support this program by making a donation online at bit.ly/refugeebenefit2020.

We will still be holding our March Dine & Donate at Buffalo Wild Wings on Wednesday, March 25. We hope you will still support STVCC by visiting Buffalo Wild Wings on Delta Commerce Dr. to dine in or for take out! You can find our flyer here

Staying Informed and Involved:
It is no surprise that our economy is certainly being impacted by COVID-19. That is the same for non-profit organizations like STVCC. We ask for your support now more than ever. We are continuing to provide high-quality, vital services to those who need them the most in our community, and the need is even greater today

Please consider making an online donation today at stvcc.org to ensure that we are able to not only continue to provide these services and programs, but also make adjustments to be sure that the changing needs of our community are met.

We encourage you to follow STVCC on Facebook and Instagram to stay informed on the situation as it changes, to find out about upcoming opportunities and events, and to learn about how you can help and make an impact in our community.

As always, we are appreciative of your generosity and support. We thank you for your understanding as we make these changes to protect everybody in our community.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to our Development Team via email at donate@stvcc.org.
 
Thank you,

Your STVCC Family


Friday, March 13, 2020

To all stakeholders,

The health and safety of our clients, employees, volunteers, interns, and independent contractors is St. Vincent Catholic Charities’ (STVCC) top priority. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is evolving daily. Our leadership is closely monitoring the coronavirus and are taking action based on guidance from public health experts.  We have greatly enhanced our cleaning and sanitization processes, and continue to place an emphasis on personal hygiene, involving more frequent handwashing, the proper use of hand sanitizer and the practice of social distancing. Your cooperation helps to ensure an appropriate response across our agency to this rapidly changing situation. Remember, prevention is still the primary focus. 

Due to the increased concern over coronavirus, our Employee Appreciation Luncheon, scheduled on March 17, will be postponed until further notice.  

Preventing COVID-19:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer
  • clean surfaces and disinfect commonly touched surfaces
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • avoid handshakes
  • avoid contact with sick people
  • stay home when you are sick with a fever of 100 degrees or above

 Resources:

Employees have access to Relias Learning Management System and a specific training module called “Pandemic Preparedness”.  It includes the following modules:  Personal Protective Equipment (15 min), Infection Control (15 min), Hand Hygiene (15 min), Influenza Prevention (30 min), and Transmission-Based Precautions (30 min).  You may have already received similar training in your department based on your role at STVCC.  If you’re interested in enrolling, please talk to your supervisor.  We have the ability to run these trainings during team meetings, if requested. If you’d like to take it on your own, you can log into Relias from any internet connection. The link is located here. If this is your first time signing in, you may need STVCC’s ID: 12882.

External websites:

 If you’ve have been asked to self-quarantine (or have been diagnosed with COVID-19) by your healthcare professional:

Follow your department’s protocol for not coming to work (you only have to say you’re out sick), AND you must also report your absence to Human Resources. Your two contacts are:  Maria  (x1107 or cell#  517.505.6050) OR  Shawn (x1109 or cell# 517.214.5829).

We understand the vital role STVCC has in the community and the value of the employees who serve and aid our clients on a daily basis. Our priority remains the health and safety of our employees, children and clients. We are taking the necessary precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. You will be receiving regular updates as this situation evolves and we appreciate your understanding and continued cooperation in the coming days as STVCC works through our preparedness plans.

Sincerely,

Maria A. Zdybel
Director of Administrative Services