How To Assess Your Community's Needs
During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people all over the country are being affected in ways we could never imagine. Children who receive most of their meals from school no longer have access. People aren’t able to work and cannot provide for their families. Shelters are losing volunteers. Some are feeling more lonely than ever. Knowing there are needs to be met and asking what they are will allow us to better serve our communities. While seeking to serve, keep in mind all precautions that have been set at this time for the sake of ourselves and each other.
Identify major needs and concerns of your city by asking “what has changed and how can I help?”
Education in your community changed. How can you support families? College students?
How is the economy in your community shifting? What can you do to help people who are unemployed?
What are the local shelters doing to serve the homeless and those living in poverty? How can you help?
Talk to nurses and doctors you know in your city to be aware of what the hospitals are experiencing. How can you help?
Discover how you can serve the vulnerable populations in your city. What are their needs at this time?
Many communities will have common vulnerabilities. Below are a few areas where you can begin researching needs:
Tell us in one word...how are you today? Hopeful Scared Happy OK
Ways You Can Serve NOW!
Don't Hesitate To Share Love!
- Make a prayer list of the most vulnerable people in your life
- Reach out to friends and family in other cities who you haven’t seen in awhile, just to see how they are
- Offer to babysit for people who work from home
- Consider the needs of those who are currently out of work. Reach out to see if you can help
- Check on your neighbors. If you are going to the store, ask if you can get them anything
- Check in with your parish priest and see if there are any elderly or homebound parishioners that need assistance
- If you are home from College, offer to tutor children
- Organize an online bible study with your priest or youth director
- Write letters to nursing home residents who currently aren’t receiving visitors
- Call local homeless shelters to see what their needs are
- Contribute part of your grocery shopping to your local food bank
- Encourage people to make bags to meet specific needs of organizations in your city. They can be dropped off in one place and one volunteer can deliver them to the organization
The entire mental health community of professionals and advocates will say that the top priority when providing aid to someone in crisis is to reassure