Increased Case Management and Direct Client Assistance

In the past 3 months, Identity has:

  • Provided support to almost 1700 different families, speaking on average 6 times to each family.
  • Provided 1457 different families (more than 8700 people with emergency assistance:
    • $445,550 in Montgomery County EARP payments for 443 families (we expect to help another 700- 900 families access $904,000 in EARP assistance)
    • $220,000 in emergency assistance (i.e. food, medicine, rent, baby products) to hundreds of other families
  • Compared to the same three months last year, connected:
    • 4775% more families to emergency housing assistance
    • 5 times the number of families emergency food assistance
    • Triple the number of families to subsidized technology
    • 10 times more families food and other emergency supplies with gift cards
  • Provided assistance accessing Unemployment Compensation to 82 families (new service).
  • Provided 2072 interventions related to virtual education basics such as Chromebooks, WIFI, systems help.
  • Reached 763 families with critical information to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and take care of ill family.

Increased Capacity

In order to carry out our COVID-19 response, all front-line staff were cross-trained in case management and community mental health supports. Staff have now received more than 20 hours of additional training on topics such as:

  • Advanced Active Listening
  • Helping Children Cope during COVID-Era
  • Practical Ways of Helping Clients Cope with Anxiety
  • Preventing and Ending Power-Based Relationship Violence
  • How to listen to and work with clients from different cultures
  • Professional Boundaries in Times of Crisis
  • Trauma-informed Self Care for Staff
  • Understanding Our Own Strengths and Limitations During COVID-19
  • Accessing COVID-specific relief funds such as EARP, Unemployment Compensation and utility assistance

Initiated Special Projects

  • Fifty-six Youth Opportunity Center clients made 2200 reusable masks for distribution to low-income neighbors.
  • In partnership with Manna, Identity trained 10 community promotoras to connect hard to reach people in their affinity networks to Manna.
  • In partnership with the Montgomery County Food Council and Burness, we trained Youth Opportunity Center students to help residents access SNAP.
  • In partnership with CAPSMD, we distributed 175 Creative Learning Kits to elementary and middle school students.
  • In partnership with UMD, we are conducting a student and parent needs assessment to meaningfully advocate for and support academic recovery.

While we continue to keep young people engaged in their education, older youth in their work skills development and parents equipped to help them, within two weeks of COVID-19, Identity moved almost all youth and family support on line and significantly increased our capacity to deliver critical, if not lifesaving case management services, direct client assistance and mental health supports remotely.
COVID-19 has had disproportionate effects on our client community in health, education and economics. In Montgomery County, Latinos represent 19.9% of the population, but 14.4% of deaths; Blacks represent 19.9 % of the population, but 25.5% of deaths. And according to MCPS, 70% of students who stopped learning – who did not log in even once to its on-line learning platform—were Black and Brown. MCPS reports that 9000 elementary and 4500 secondary students had disengaged from learning. According to DHHS, Latinos residents in the county are 50% more likely than Whites to be at risk of unemployment. The economic downturn has disproportionately impacted immigrant workers, who for the first time this century now a higher unemployment rate than natives. Immigrants are both more likely to be laid off and less likely to find new opportunities.