Penquis

Article Title: Updates During Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

Article Content

We are committed to ensuring the health and well-being of our clients, employees and community and are following the state and local health officials recommendations for physical distancing. While some services remain fully operational such as Assisted Living, Residential Services, Transportation, Rape Response Services Accompaniment and the Child’s Advocacy Center, our business offices are currently closed. Many of our other services continue to be provided by phone, and online. We remain a resource for our community and will do so throughout this pandemic.

If you have specific questions, you can call us at 207-973-3500, email us at info@penquis.org or connect with us through messenger on our Penquis Facebook page.

  • Updates to Penquis Services During COVID-19

    Please see current information on our services below.  If you have specific questions, you can call us at 207-973-3500, email us at info@penquis.org or connect with us through messenger on our Penquis Facebook page.

    Transportation Services – for non-emergency  medical transportation trips are currently in service. Many healthcare providers are following recommendations, that all non-urgent medical procedures, elective surgeries, and appointments at hospitals and health care providers across the state be postponed until further notice.  Please note that when it comes to non medical trips, we need to prioritize those trips, for example trips to food pantries, grocery stores and pharmacies will take priority.  We request postponing all non essential trips until further notice.

    Maine Families Home Visiting Program – for Penobscot and Piscataquis Counties will be pausing all in-home visiting and group activities in an effort to ensure the health and safety of all our families and staff. Family Visitors will check-in with families by phone to offer support and resources during this time.  We are also accepting referrals. Babies are still being born and families are able to receive phone calls and virtual home visits to talk about pregnancy, parenting and child development through virtual home visits and also get connected to additional community resources. For more information, call 973-3674 or check us out at www.mainefamilies.org.

    Family Time Coaching – will be connecting with families remotely rather than in-person.

    Childcare and Head Start – ALL of our Child Development Centers and Classrooms will be closed. The closure will last until May 1,  pending additional guidance from our state and local officials. Our staff will be in touch with families by phone to check in to see how we can be a resource during the time of classroom closures.

    Head Start – While our classrooms are closed, all enrolled children and families are receiving contact, educational support and opportunities from their classroom and center team . We are also available to enroll children in classrooms for the fall. The educational and community support and resources for families in these times is on-gong and our family support workers and teachers are ready and able to meet new children and families through telephone and other technology. Applications and registrations for PreK for next fall are still being accepted. For enrollment information contact Linda Henderson, 207-973-3567 or 1-800-215-4942   lhenderson@penquis.org

    We are also planning to posting positions that will be available for the upcoming grant year for staffing positions. Please visit our employment page for those opportunities in the near future.

    Parenting Classes and Groups – All in-person parenting classes, training and events have been cancelled until further notice. We are offering online parenting classes and groups free to all parents through Zoom.  Go to our Facebook page under ‘events’ to learn more and to register. Parents can call 735-6413 or email Christine McMillen at cmcmillen@penquis.org for more information.

    Rape Response Services – 24 hour crisis and support line (1-800-871-7741) and accompaniment services.

    All AARP/United Way Tax Preparation – appointments hosted at Penquis in Dover-Foxcroft are postponed until further notice.

    Charlotte White Support Services – Our Community Supports Program will be closed until May 1st. Services will be reevaluated at that time. All Residential Services remain fully operational as an essential service.

    Maine Stream Finance Services – Will provide virtual meetings when possible and continue with 1:1 counseling and lending services through the phone or other telecommuting tools.  Please visit their website for an update on their specific services.

    Homebuyer Education Classes – have been cancelled and we are encouraging individuals to take the online classes. We will continue to provide updated information and resources for small business owners as we receive updates from the Small Business Association (SBA). You can visit MaineStream Finance website and Facebook page for more information.

    Business Booster Loan – MaineStream Finance also has opened a new loan program for small businesses affected by COVID-19.  For more information, please visit their website.

    Heating Assistance Appointments – The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) will no longer hold face to face applications. We will conduct phone applications until further notice.  For more information, call 973-3500.

    Rent Relief Program – April 16, 2020, Governor Mills put in effect the Rent Relief program and you can find the application and more information on MaineHousing’s websiteFrequently Asked Questions

    Weatherization – In home weatherization audits will discontinue until May 1 and we will evaluate the availability of this service at that time.

    Home Repair – Home repairs will discontinue until  April 27th and we will evaluate the availability of services at that time.

    Lead Inspections – with continue as needed and reviewed.

    Central Heating and Improvement Program (CHIP) – The CHIP program will discontinue until  April 27th and we will evaluate the availability of services at that time.

    Law Project – Although we may not be at the office or able to meet with you in-person, the Law Project is still available.  We are answering phone calls on a daily basis, so please do not hesitate to reach out to us.  We are accepting applications for consultations over the phone with our attorney for Protection from Abuse and Protection from Harassment cases as well as related family matters.  Please call 973-3671. (some eligibility guidelines do apply)

    The Journey House – The house remains open with current resident and child and staff are able to take referrals and assist with community supports and options during these times.

    Community Partnerships for Protecting Children (CPPC) – is providing phone support to families, facilitating virtual team meetings and helping families locate resources and supports.  We are also hosting a weekly online support group for parents with DHHS involvement and for more information, please visit:  https://www.facebook.com/events/153754262604695/   Our Griffin Park Community Hub is currently closed for Drop In Hours and Workshops, however we have free items available to families during the week outside of the Hub.  If you have any questions about CPPC services, please contact jwuoristo@penquis.org or acowperthwaite@penquis.org.

  • Messages from Kara Hay, CEO and President of Penquis

     

     

    Previous message dated March 22  https://youtu.be/x-oU3TlMAXo

    Important Message from Kara Hay, Chief Executive Officer and President of Penquis, 3/31/2020

    As you have may have undoubtedly heard, Governor Mills, issued a new order that calls for the following: “that all non-essential businesses and operations in Maine close their physical locations that are public facing, meaning those that allow customer, vendor or other in-person contact. The Order also closes non-essential business sites that require more than ten workers to convene in a space where physical distancing is not possible. Non-essential businesses and operations may continue activities that do not involve these types of in-person contact and convening’s, and should facilitate the maximum number of employees working remotely.”

    Thankfully, Penquis has been preparing for this possibility and has taken a number of necessary measures over the past week and a half to meet these guidelines, safeguard employees and continue operations.  We closed our physical locations that are public facing and have taken necessary measures to ensure all staff are working in spaces where physical distancing is possible.

    The services being provided directly to the public are those that provide an essential services as defined in the order.  For Penquis those include: Transportation, Rape Response Services Accompaniment, Children’s Advocacy Center, Lead Investigations and all of our Residential services.

    We are greatly appreciate our staff providing essential public facing essential services to the individuals in our communities during this unprecedented time.  We also appreciate our staff that continue our work remotely, staying connected and a resource to individuals in our communities. We have encouraged our staff to work together, across departments as needed, and reach out as questions and needs arise.

    This is an environment that is constantly changing, so as new information evolves we will be in touch.  While apart physically, practicing safe, physical distancing, we remain committed to moving our work forward and serving our communities.  We continue to look forward to resuming full operations when it is safe to do so.  In the meantime, stay well and informed, as we continue to follow the recommendations of our state leaders and public health officials.

    Staff are available across all departments to answer questions via phones emails and our social media outlets.  Penquis has equipped staff to telecommunicate including expanding our video conferencing capacity.  This will allow us to continue to be a resource, providing education, support and collaboration as we thoughtfully navigate through this pandemic.

    To get answers to questions about COVID-19 at any time dial 211 (or 1-866-811-5695), text your ZIP Code to 898-211, or email info@211maine.org.

    For more information on Maine’s response to COVID-19 and updated testing results, visit the Maine CDC website.

     

     

  • Resources Available During COVID-19

    To get answers to questions about COVID-19 at any time dial 211 (or 1-866-811-5695), text your ZIP Code to 898-211, or email info@211maine.org

    Maine Helps Maine Center For Disease Control Public Health Advisory Personal Finances Small Business Supports Housing Resources Other Community Resources How to Join a Zoom Meeting Public Health Information Alliance for Addiction and Mental Health Resources for Rockland Region Making a Safe Delivery Guidance Going Forward COVID-19 Messaging Guide
  • Food & Basic Needs Resources

    Food Loss from Power Outage Meals on Wheels Family Resources
  • COVID-19 Messaging Guide

    COVID-19 Messaging Guide 

  • Emergency Bipartisan Bill Maine DOL - Bureau of Unemployment Compensation Maine DOL - Information on COVID-19 Maine DOL - COVID-19 Labor Laws Pine Tree Legal - Unemployed Worker Benefits Maine Equal Justice COVID-19 Resources

     

     

  • Governor Issued Mandates

    Shelter in Place Mandate Essential Businesses and Operations Mandate Essential Businesses and Operations Definitions Stages of Reopening Testing Expansion with Indexx Partnership Rural Reopening Plan Civil State of Emergency Extended New Funding for Expanded Testing Expansion of Contact Tracing
  • Tips for Video Conferencing

    You might be asking WHAT IS A ZOOM MEETING AND HOW DO I JOIN? If you are anything like some of us at Penquis, joining a zoom meeting or video conferencing can be a little intimidating for the first time! Now, with the way things are, this option is being offered for our parenting classes and support, meetings and other educational opportunities not just by us but throughout the county.

    Here are some simple How to Use Zoom tutorials we found on YouTube, they cover the basics; including options on how to mute and unmute, how to turn the video off and on. It does not cost to download Zoom. To all who use Penquis services, we want to stay connected during this time, while apart, we still have phones, social media, email and yes, Zoom is what we are using to video conference.

    Connecting to a Zoom Meeting

    Zoom: Running a Meeting & Screen Zoom Meeting Controls

     

  • Fun Activities for All Ages

    Natural History Tours

    Travel ToursVirtual Tours of Historic Sites Museum & Gallery Tours Tour World Famous Sites From Your Couch Bring the Zoo to You Crayola Coloring Pages Kids Coloring Pages Adult Coloring PagesStories Read Aloud Books Read Aloud Play Games Free Online