BOZEMAN — Reach Inc. in Bozeman provides residential, vocational and transportation services for just over 100 adults living with developmental disabilities in the community.
And the Coronavirus outbreak has brought some major challenges for staff and their clients.
When the Coronavirus made its way to Gallatin County, many clients at Reach were faced with a difficult decision.
Leave their supported living arrangement and services, or go home to their families.
“Most of our clients chose to stay with us. There’s a lot more resources for support when they stay with our services,” said Dee Metrick, community relations and development director at Reach Inc..
25% of Reach’s clients have at least one risk factor that makes them more susceptible to major complications from COVID-19.
As a result, the organization has implemented intense policy changes for staff and clients, including regular temperature screenings, lots of disinfecting and cleaning and, of course, social distancing measures that have separated clients from family for the time being.
“They are stuck in their home. They are isolated, they are stressed out. And they miss work and they miss their friends and they miss their families,” said Metrick.
While many of Reach’s clients have experienced a taxing disruption of their daily routines, the staff that provides support has been there every step of the way.
“Our staff are essential. And they are putting themselves at risk and they’re putting their mission first,” said Metrick.
“You know while they’re scared, they’re reassuring our clients. And while they’re feeling stressed out, they’re bringing a sense of calm to our clients.”
Reach says they’re in major need of personal protective equipment like medial masks and disposable ponchos that can work as medical gowns.
They’re in need of thermometers and disinfecting wipes, and are happily accepting donations.
You can learn how to donate by visiting Reach’s website: http://www.reachinc.org/