Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic shutdown, all Rising Up partner organizations are operating to provide basic services, with modifications to maintain the health and safety of youth and staff. This has been a difficult time for our young people. Many have lost jobs, leading to financial uncertainty and food insecurity. Reports of mental health and substance use issues have increased. Across the Bay Area, rates of COVID-19 infection are disproportionately high among communities of color, including youth.
Staff across Rising Up are working to creatively support young people (providing in-person or remote support for intensive case management, mental health support, problem solving, assessments, and housing navigation; and to the greatest extent possible, offering remote tutoring, distance learning, and tele-support), while also advocating for more resources (shelter beds, hotel vouchers, meal delivery, etc.) to keep young people healthy and safe. Rising Up Rapid Rehousing referrals and placements have continued and youth who are housed remain so under shelter-in-place mandates. We are especially focused on ensuring that the young people in the referral pipeline are safe while waiting for housing.
Rising Up is committed to using data to guide us with thought and care. Together, we are evaluating where we can provide additional support and what might need to change in response to the pandemic, e.g. enhancing behavioral health support, financial coaching, and more.