Food Pantry Service Delivery right to your door! WHA Response to COVID-19 It is of the utmost importance
for elder residents to practice safety prevention measures to avoid COVID-19 exposure. The Worcester Housing Authority is upholding its core values and committed to assist its residents especially our elders and families, during this COVID-19 crisis.
In partnering with Friendly House, the WHA is dedicated to make sure that food or meals are available and delivered safely to residents in need. Don’t go hungry. Let us help you.
Arrangements for distribution
will be three days a week:
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Interested? Call Resident Services: 508-635-3306
March 25, 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update For WHA Residents
I would like to take a moment to update you and remind you on measures the Worcester Housing Authority (WHA) is taking in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). I also want to re-iterate steps you can take to reducing the risk of exposure to the virus.
Although the governor has ordered all non-essential businesses to close, this order does not apply to housing authorities. We are an essential business providing essential services to our residents. The WHA will continue to operate within its normal business hours; however, the physical offices are closed to the public until further notice.
We appreciate your cooperation with the following changes and will continue to provide you with the level of service you are accustomed to. Resident Outreach / Assistance
1. If you need any type of assistance, please call our Resident Service office at (508) 635-3306. We can provide assistance with food, supplies, or to answer any question you may have.
2. If you have not received a call from us, please contact Resident Services at the number above. We may not have your most updated phone number in our records and we want to make sure to check in on you.
3. Drop boxes are located at all property management offices, Resident Service office, Leased Housing office, and our Admissions office. This allows you to mail or drop off necessary documents. If you have a document to drop off, please call the appropriate office so they are aware to expect your document.
4. We understand that many employers are struggling at this time. If you experience a loss of income, please report it to your property management office immediately, so we can adjust your rent accordingly.
5. If you are in self-quarantine or have been instructed to quarantine, please inform your management office so we can take proper precautions and assist you in any way possible.
6. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, we strongly recommend that you inform us for the safety of all our residents. We will take a moment to review protocol with you and will remain in contact to provide any assistance necessary while you are recovering in quarantine.
7. If you are feeling ill, particularly flu like symptoms or those defined as coronavirus-like symptoms, which include fever, cough, and trouble breathing, contact your medical provider immediately. We also ask you to inform your management office so we can take proper precautions and assist you in any way possible. Resident Tips
1. Please remember to reduce physical interaction with other people. This is the best way to avoid exposure to the virus. Avoid social gatherings and stay in your apartment as much as possible.
2. We recommend that you limit visitors in your apartment as they may have been exposed to the virus. We encourage you to use Facetime or other video chat programs to stay connected with friends, family members or neighbors.
3. We are working with local organizations to collect donations, and in some cases provide delivery to your door if necessary. If you are having supplies or items delivered to your apartment, have them placed outside your door.
4. No more than 4 people should be inside an elevator. Please wait for another elevator cab to avoid overcrowding.
5. COVID-19 virus can live on surfaces. Please sanitize your apartment frequently by wiping down surfaces with a disinfectant cleaner.
6. It is very important that you continue to practice proper hygiene techniques. Wash your hands every 30 minutes, especially after coughing or sneezing, and avoid touching your face.
7. Minimize the use of toilet paper and ensure that toilet paper is the only material being flushed. Never flush wipes, paper towels, etc. in the toilet. WHA Response
1. WHA maintenance staff continue to prioritize your health and safety. During this crisis, we have reallocated our resources to ensure that all our buildings are sanitized at least three (3) times each day.
2. WHA employees will be wearing protective masks while in WHA buildings. This is for your protection as well as their own. Please do not be alarmed, this does not mean that staff is sick or that they think you are sick.
3. Maintenance is currently only responding to emergency work orders. Please be patient with all other work order requests while we prioritize the safety of residents and staff during this time.
4. We are creating an inventory of all home health aides, who currently assist our residents in their apartments. We will be calling you for their contact information, so we can communicate directly with them about any changes in the building as it relates to COVID-19.
As a reminder, the WHA website COVID-19 page will provide you with regular WHA updates on action we are taking, as well as updates from city, state, and federal agencies. Please refer to this page to stay updated on the latest news. We will also continue to update you via telephone and our social media page. Our website is www.worcesterha.org.
I would like to remind all our residents that we are in the midst of a national emergency. We understand that our residents need us now more than ever. In order to ensure we are providing you the assistance you need, we need to have a healthy and informed staff.
I want to thank you for your continued cooperation with these efforts to minimize the risk of Coronavirus within our community. Your understanding of the measures we are taking, but more importantly, knowing what you can do, to minimize the risk for you and others, is critical.
Thank you for working with us. It will take all of us communicating and working together to get past this crisis.
Stay well and safe,
March 14, 2020 Worcester Housing Author ity Response to COVID-19
The mission of the Worcester Housing Authority is to enhance the Worcester community by creating and sustaining decent, safe, and affordable housing that champions stability and self-sufficiency for our residents. In times of crisis, this mission becomes an even more critical part of the WHA’s service to our community’s most vulnerable citizens.
The COVID-19 Coronavirus has hit our community with fast-moving force and impact. The WHA is taking this outbreak very seriously and has taken swift action to minimize risk to our residents, staff, and visitors. An internal task force has been established and is meeting daily to review updates and respond accordingly. We remain in close contact with local officials and community partners.
The WHA would like to take a moment to share a number of operational changes and safety measures being implemented effective immediately. These changes will be in effect for at least the next 30 days, at which point the WHA will reassess and reevaluate to determine next steps.
- All WHA offices will be open to the public only on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. All business with the WHA outside of these hours must be conducted via telephone, email, or fax.
- During these new business hours, the WHA will install physical drop-boxes at various locations where residents and visitors can drop off important paperwork to avoid entering the offices.
- Apartment visits, such as inspections and routine or non-emergency work orders that can be postponed, will be rescheduled. For emergency work orders that require in-person interaction, residents will be required to answer a series of screening questions prior to arrival.
- For all other scheduled appointments, the WHA will make every attempt to conduct the appointment by telephone or other means.
- The WHA’s Family & Resident Services Department is working directly with our residents daily to ensure that those in-need or at high-risk are receiving services such as food, medical support, and engagement resources and materials.
- All employees and residents who are exhibiting symptoms of the Coronavirus, such as fever, cough, and difficulty breathing are being asked to self-isolate, contact their medical provider immediately for direction, and notify the WHA as soon as possible to enable the WHA take action to mitigate the risk to our population.
As a public agency serving our community’s most vulnerable residents, the WHA cannot close and will not abandon our clients. However, with the cooperation of our dedicated staff, partner agencies, and our community, we can get through this crisis with the best outcome possible.
The WHA has established a page on our website dedicated to keeping our residents and the general public informed on Coronavirus updates. Please feel free to visit this site at: www.worcesterha.org for information and helpful tips and techniques, as well as updates from local, state, and federal agencies.
“The WHA and its staff have a clear understanding that if there was ever a time that our residents need us, it is NOW.
I am encouraged by the response of our dedicated employees and our understanding that there is much work left to be done.”
– Alex Corrales, Executive Director
For more information, contact WHA Executive Director Alex Corrales at (508) 635-3106
March 12, 2020 RE: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update Dear Resident,
I want to take a moment to update you on measures the Worcester Housing Authority (WHA) is taking in response to the recent news regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This is an important message, so please take the time to read it in its entirety.
The WHA’s goal is to provide you with information, resources, and tips to ensure that you are taking proper safety precautions to protect yourself and those around you from exposure to this virus. I would like to inform you of specific changes that the WHA is making to assist in those precautions. These changes are effective immediately and will be in effect for the next thirty (30) days. Events / Meetings / Gatherings
All resident meetings, events, and gatherings scheduled to occur at WHA sites will be cancelled immediately. This includes, but is not limited to, events sponsored by resident councils, pet clinics, wellness fairs, food pantry, and any other gathering.
All WHA community rooms will be closed to minimize group gatherings. If the WHA needs to open the community rooms for a specific purpose, that need will be assessed and determined on a case-by-case basis.
For residents enrolled in FSS or ABL programs, client meetings will be conducted over the phone. A Family Life Coach or Coordinator will be in touch to schedule those phone meetings.
The after-school tutoring and gym recreational programs at Great Brook Valley will remain open in accordance to the Worcester Public School’s calendar. If there are school cancellations, these programs will also be cancelled. Parents that utilize these programs should plan accordingly and ensure proper accommodations are in place for your children in the event schools are closed.
We are in constant communication with our community partners such as the Worcester Senior Center and Quinsigamond Community College, to determine the status of the senior transportation program and our Hi-Set / ESL classes. The WHA will provide updates if there is a disruption in service of these programs. WHA Assistance/Response
The WHA will continue to operate within its normal business hours and to deliver the excellent level of service you are accustomed to receiving. However, we advise all residents to take the following precautions in order to reduce and minimize exposure to the virus.
Please limit your WHA office visits. Kindly contact the department or person that you wish to speak with by telephone. The WHA will determine the best course of action in order to provide you with the assistance that you require.
If you are requesting a work order for maintenance repairs, kindly inform the WHA if you are sick or experiencing symptoms similar to those of the Coronavirus. The WHA will continue to respond to emergencies, but must be fully informed in order to minimize risk.
For non-emergency, routine work order requests, please be patient. Residents may experience a slight delay due to increased maintenance duties in response to the virus.
WHA maintenance staff are spending additional time and efforts sanitizing high-traffic areas in all buildings, at least twice a day, as an additional safety measure. Tips and Resources
The WHA has posted and delivered flyers and notices at all developments, including safety tips and precautions. This includes regularly washing hands, as well as avoiding physical contact with others and large group gatherings. I strongly urge you to read these flyers and practice these safety precautions.
The WHA is finalizing a webpage dedicated to the Coronavirus response. This page will provide you with regular WHA updates on action we are taking, as well as updates from city, state, and federal agencies. Please refer to this page to stay updated on the latest news. We will also continue to update you via telephone and on our social media page. Our website is www.worcesterha.org
I want to thank you for your anticipated cooperation with these efforts to minimize the risk of Coronavirus within our community. It will take everyone’s cooperation to ensure the health and safety of all of our residents. I am in constant contact with city officials in order to strategize in the event that a WHA resident contracts the virus. If you are feeling ill, please seek immediate assistance from a medical professional.
If you have any questions, the WHA is here to help. Please contact your property management office and they will be happy to assist you.
As you are aware, concerns about the COVID-19 virus (aka coronavirus) are increasing and, as with other businesses around the country, the WHA is actively monitoring developments and will do whatever is necessary to protect our staff and residents. The virus symptoms manifest as a mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) believes at this time that symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
The WHA is working diligently to provide all staff and residents the provide all information pertenint to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 situation.
While we are always there for you via email/phone, we encourage you to utilize the various remote tools available especially the CDC and the World Health Oganization (WHO).
Here are some informational resources regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to keep your communities safe and healthy. In addition, please remember to check with your local health department and local governments.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development's COVID-19 page states that "[e]veryone should continue promoting everday disease prevention strategies;" - If you are sick, stay home from work or school.
- Avoid close contact with those who are already sick.
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or the crook of your arm.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth.