Caring for the elderly population of our community has long been a passion and goal of Ciudad Nueva. This year especially, our elderly neighbors need special attention and assistance due to the pandemic. We are eager to launch Ciudad Nueva’s elderly services, projected to begin next year!
Before our services had to change due to COVID-19, we offered Art Therapy classes to our elderly community members. Tamy, the instructor for this art class, was able to connect with and share Christ’s love with attendees, who enjoyed the social fellowship and the chance to use their creativity. The class sparked interest, and we began to think, “It would be amazing to do this more!”
The amount of positive feedback we received from the art therapy classes and the new, unique needs of our elderly community during the pandemic are driving us to offer something new. To meet these new needs, we reviewed a test-run we started this summer and outlined plans for next year.
Summer Test-Run for Our New Elderly Services
This summer, we experimented with providing a “buddy system” service to our elderly community. Going to crowded public places puts the elderly at risk of getting COVID-19, so the best way for them to stay safe and healthy is to stay home, limit their exposure to other people, and avoid places like grocery stores and big-box retail stores.
To help keep this precious community healthy, our staff and volunteers provided Ciudad Nueva’s elderly services as often as they could this year. Our buddy system involved running errands for them, like picking up groceries, prescriptions, and other essential items. This way, they did not have to worry about exposing themselves to public places and were supplied with what they needed to quarantine effectively.
Demand for this service has increased significantly throughout the year. As the number of virus cases fluctuates, the elderly continue to need support to stay home and stay healthy. This community is at-risk and needs our help.
It is vitally important to us to protect these valuable people. We are taking action to provide to them what they really need: safety, connection, and hope.
To meet the increasing demand, we evaluated our buddy system after the summer ended. We found that though the minutiae of the buddy system itself needed some improvement, it ultimately led to a new development in bringing on more team members to meet the growing needs of our elderly community!
Instead of continuing the buddy system with our existing staff members, Ciudad Nueva is in the process of hiring staff to meet this need specifically. In fact, we are onboarding several new staff members — we call them “community connectors” — to be able to provide services to the elderly on a larger scale. We are working toward getting a grant and reaching out to our generous donors to help cover the costs of these new staff members.
We’re incredibly excited that our new community connectors will be providing Ciudad Nueva’s elderly services in full swing in 2021. We’ve seen the need for this service grow and grow throughout the pandemic, and we are driven and eager to be able to minister to this at-risk population as soon as we can.
What will these services look like?
We are still in the process of setting up the services and figuring out the nuts and bolts of the program. Our team of community connectors will personally pick up and deliver food and personal care items to homes. Ciudad Nueva will also offer resource connection services to ensure that elderly community members are able to access whatever they may need in the area. On top of that, our connectors will do exactly that — connect. Staying at home to quarantine takes a lot of work, emotionally and spiritually. The elderly sacrifice their family time and social activities to stay home and maintain their health. We plan to reach out to this population regularly, while physically social-distancing, to minister through personal connections. We want to keep the loneliness at bay while helping them to stay healthy.
Finally, we have received a grant that provides funding toward a van! This van will serve as the vehicle to transport groceries and personal care items to and from homes. End-of-year donations will be matched up to $15,000 to help cover the costs of this van. We are praying for financial blessing to carry us through these new expenses, and for God to do His work through these new services next year.
As we approach the new year, please pray that God uses Ciudad Nueva’s elderly services to reach more people for Christ. It is our earnest desire that through these new offerings, we will be able to give the kind of hope and love that only He can provide.
If you are interested in giving to help us provide these essential services to the elderly in our community, you can learn how here!
Ciudad Nueva is a community-based nonprofit that exists to advance the renewal and development of central El Paso’s Rio Grande neighborhood through the empowerment and transformation of its residents. Please join us this year! Call us today at 915-521-2951 or contact us online.