Volunteers of America-Greater New York is Responding to COVID-19

Our everyday mission at VOA-Greater New York is to help the families and individuals we serve overcome obstacles to living safe, healthy and productive lives in the community. Now, as the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 has evolved into a pandemic, we are committed to doing everything we can to slow the spread of the virus and keep our clients, staff and volunteers safe.

A Message from Our President and CEO, Tere Pettitt

Most of VOA-Greater New York’s programs are residential; we house more than 4,000 vulnerable men, women and children every night. As a provider of essential human services therefore, we must continue to operate, which we will do, but with rigorous, enhanced procedures across our 80 social services programs as well as in our administrative office.

We are in close contact with and are following guidelines set forth by local, state, and federal government and health authorities including the NYS Department of Health (DOH), NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS), Human Resources Administration, FEMA and CDC.

Social distancing measures are being implemented for staff, and at program sites for clients; all VOA-Greater New York programs have a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) and are holding tabletop drills with staff to ensure company-wide understanding of them; staff are trained to identify symptoms of possible infection and know procedure to follow; and high-touch surfaces and high-traffic public areas are being cleaned as outlined by guidelines. These are just some of the procedures we have in place.

VOA-Greater New York successfully managed serious emergency situations occurring in New York City before, including the 2003 blackout, September 11, and Hurricane Sandy, quickly implementing a COOP in every one of our programs and keeping all our clients and staff safe. We were able to do this because of the hard work and dedication of our staff who are once again committed to keeping those we serve safe while contributing to the safety of the communities in which we work. Though the current crisis is unprecedented, we will once again respond thoughtfully, quickly and comprehensively in coordination with our funding agencies and health experts.

VOA-Greater New York must be there for the veterans, homeless families, at-risk youth, survivors of domestic violence, individuals living with HIV/AIDS and others who count on us who already live with such vulnerabilities. As VOA-Greater New York continues to meet the daily needs of these vulnerable populations, we are experiencing—and will continue to incur for a protracted period of time—extraordinary expenses.

If you had intended to give to VOA-Greater New York, planned to volunteer, or otherwise support our work, I encourage you to show your support with a donation now or explore these other ways to help, as we all fight this pandemic together.

Be safe.




Tere Pettitt
President and CEO
Volunteers of America-Greater New York

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