Physical distancing has changed how the Village is operating. COVID-19’s effect has been vast and has made us have to be more creative about how we care for our clients. As many might already know Center Director, Dr. John Schneider, has led the efforts of contact tracing of COVID-19 immediately after the first confirmed case from Howard Brown. CCHE’s response to COVID-19 doesn’t stop there.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Rebecca Eavou, Director of Prevention at CCHE, so that she could tell us about the work that’s being done to ensure that our clients are cared for. “We’ve worked really hard to try to preserve some amount of service for folks.” The Center is currently servicing our present community of people who already rely on us for services.

What does that look like? Well, the Center continues to be open in a limited compacity while distancing, and as a result, a day at The Village looks different. Eavou described what a day at CCHE looks like from the staff perspective; Anything that can operate remotely has been adjusted to do so. Many resources clients might need can’t be administered telephonically: cash, bus cards, masks, or testing kits all must be delivered. Rebecca Eavou and Senior Manager of Center Growth & Development, Jessi Dehlin, are the power duo in appropriate PPE driving around Chicago and nearby suburbs providing resources as safely as possible right outside a client’s home.

She shared an anecdote with me: One client received a call from The Village about potential resources and immediately thought it was a prank. Through dedication from our Supportive Services team, they were finally at ease with accepting support from us; the drop off option was best for them so Eavou had the privilege of meeting the client. “They had just gotten off of a night shift and they were tired but they like waited up until I could get to their house and they were just beaming about it”. Rebecca named that our financial support might not be a ton, but what we provide can be instrumental in helping someone stay stable for another week or month.

When asked for closing thoughts Eavou decided to underscore the diligence and care of the entire CCHE staff to be able to balance care for others during a pandemic and to come together as a community. Leticia Boughton Price, Senior Supportive Services Coordinator, started a check-in email chain as a means for us to connect with each other while distant. As a director, Eavou doesn’t get to work directly with staff as much as other members and was grateful to be able to find out things about staff that wouldn’t come up if we were still working in person.

“I’m gonna find a way to both take care of my client and take care of myself.”

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