One year ago, we closed the LAS office to comply with the Alameda County Shelter in Place order and curb the spread of COVID-19. At the time, we only expected to be closed to the public temporarily, with the initial Shelter in Place order covering just two-and-a-half weeks. As the months went on, the LAS team has continued to adapt in countless ways while dealing with the effects of this pandemic on their personal lives.
On this anniversary, I wanted to recognize the incredible resilience and hard work of our organization and staff over the past year. During a time when our older adults were more isolated than ever, our LAS team found creative ways to reach them and meet their needs with compassion and respect. LAS has survived, adapted and thrived, continuing to serve our clients and community despite the challenges this year has brought.
Here are some highlights of what our LAS team has accomplished in the past year:
- Every department adjusted their procedures, communication, methods and workflow to adjust to remote work, with a great deal of technical support from Leo Treggiari
- Brought on 5 new staff members: Felecia Robinson, Greg Bedard, Maria Palazzolo, Christian Ramos and Nora Abushaaban
- Successfully converted our Annual Conference on Elder Abuse to a well-attended virtual event with almost 400 unique participants
- Opened over 600 legal cases and closed over 700 legal cases, including securing over 50 restraining orders, 40 guardianships (represented and pro per), and 10 citizenships
- Completed over 100 virtual CE presentations for seniors and senior service providers
- Distributed over 12,000 flyers through various meal delivery/grocery pick-up programs
- Reached over 300,000 people through mentions or brief articles in Senior Center newsletters since the Shelter in Place began
- HICAP staff was able to answer all calls and address many client needs during the busy AEP, as well as providing online training via webinars and weekly study groups to keep the volunteers informed and connected throughout the year
- HICAP Volunteer Counselors have been flexible and resilient and made their own creative adjustments to provide quality and detailed assistance despite the challenges of phone counseling
- The agency provided a fun and meaningful online volunteer recognition event with special deliveries of gift bags to the volunteers ahead of time
This list is by no means comprehensive, but it encapsulates some of the achievements most meaningful to our LAS team.
Thanks to everyone for helping to support our mission of ensuring the rights and dignity of seniors during these uniquely challenging times.