Staying Connected While Keeping Our Distance

March 19, 2020

A Message from Matt Franklin

 
MidPen Partners, Supporters and Friends,

For fifty years, MidPen has provided safe, affordable housing of high quality to those in need. Now, with the threat of the novel coronavirus sweeping through our communities, we feel the urgency of this mission more than ever. At a time when millions of citizens are being asked to “shelter in place” at home, we are acutely aware of the thousands of individuals without homes, and the even greater number of individuals and families who are housing insecure—an insecurity that has increased exponentially with the sudden emergence of a global public health crisis, and the economic fallout that has proven fast on its heels.

At MidPen, our number one priority is – and always has been – the health and safety of our residents, employees and the communities we serve. In light of the crisis at hand, this takes on a new dimension. Caring, for the first time in recent history, must now be paired with strict physical distancing. It will take thoughtfulness, planning, and creativity from everyone on our team, but I am confident that our extraordinary MidPenners are up to the challenge. The inspiring stories are already flooding in and in a future communication, I look forward to sharing some of them with you.

For now, I want to share the actions we’re taking in each of our focus areas:

Property Management: Our property management staff continues to support residents by providing essential services. Per CDC guidelines, staff members will always keep to a 6-foot minimum distance, limit in-person interaction, and conduct business by email or phone whenever possible. Maintenance is following rigorous cleaning procedures of common areas while continuing to address emergency high-priority maintenance requests. We are continuing to have “eyes and ears” on each of our properties to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents and the health of our communities through limited hours of on-site presence.

Resident Services: Our resident services staff are fully available remotely, regularly reaching out to residents by phone or email to perform wellness checks and see what resources they may need. We are also maintaining essential on-site mental health services for our supportive residents, providing food assistance through contracted partners, and distributing school district-approved learning packets to our after-school program participants. Our senior residents are staying connected through creative virtual gatherings.

Housing Development: Our development team is focused on communities currently under construction, pushing our pipeline of over 3,900 new homes forward with the ever more urgent goal of increasing production, so that someday everyone has a safe home that they can afford. Development team leadership is in close communication with our public and non-profit partners, including regional homeless coalitions, to coordinate action across jurisdictions.

Company-wide: As an “essential business” we have a reduced number of staff onsite at properties to perform crucial duties safely, while the majority of our team has been equipped to work from home. Our regional offices will be closed, yet we will be reachable as always by phone and email. Please know we are taking extra steps to care for our MidPen family, recognizing that many on our team will need to take time off due to hardships presented during the crisis.

Thank you all for your continued support of our mission. And a very special thanks to the public servants and health care professionals who are working tirelessly to serve and protect us. You are remarkable!

As we work to adapt to this challenging and unprecedented situation, our thoughts are with those already impacted by COVID-19. We know we will get through this together.

Sincerely,


Matthew O. Franklin
President & CEO