By Caitlyn Gudmundsen, Senior Manager Program Development and Outreach
Today’s Front Line Hero is Lutheran Social Services of New York (LSSNY), which is recognizing the unsung heroes of the pandemic.
Lutheran Social Services of New York has been operating at the heart of the pandemic over the last few months, and has continued its much-needed services during the crisis. LSSNY continues to serve its community, including the formerly homeless, people struggling with addiction, the newcomer, people living with mental illness, families who are food insecure, and children in foster care. Though many services remain closed as New York battles COVID-19, LSSNY feels its duty is to meet the community’s needs by providing essential support during the pandemic.
We often hear about the work and sacrifices of medical workers on the front lines, but we rarely hear about the hard work and essential services of maintenance workers, case managers, custodial workers, and childcare providers. LSSNY CEO Damyn Kelly is making a concerted effort to recognize the work of the unsung heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic. LSSNY is highlighting essential workers with profiles on its website and in newsletters, and elevating the workers’ commitment to service. Custodial workers, for example, are crucial to the health and safety of the community. However, they cannot work from home, and are risking their health and safety to ensure the virus does not spread. LSSNY case managers are on the front lines, making sure that vulnerable populations in New York have the resources they need, especially during these trying times.
“I have always told staff that they were essential and that it was because of them that we [LSSNY] existed,” said Kelly. “So as a result, when the governor announced the Stay in Place order…calling our workers essential, I immediately sent out an email to the staff saying the governor has recognized what I’ve been telling you since the beginning.”
Thank you to LSSNY for your continued service in New York, and for recognizing the unsung heroes who make that service possible.