Action Inc. Operations Update as of 06.09.2020 at 3:45pm

While navigating this uncharted territory due to the continuing spread of COVID-19 infection, Action Inc. has focused significant efforts on planning to sustain our mission and ensure the safety of employees and clients and our community.

While this work continues, we have made temporary changes to our operations. Below is the current status of the temporary changes for each department within the agency.

Action Inc. Headquarters – located at the Emma Park Neighborhood Center, has established temporary changes to our office operations and within each Program located in this facility. Action Inc. will temporarily restrict public access, and we have moved to Phone Appointments Only  for clients. With this, our main lobby and waiting room are currently closed to the public. We will be accepting paperwork via a “drop box” method. Action Inc. has purchased and installed a secure “drop box” located outside of our main doors. In addition to the “drop box” there is signage on the outside door that states we will be seeing clients by appointment only and the phone number to call for assistance.  Staff will wear disposable gloves while handling paperwork collected from clients and the paperwork will be sprayed with an EPA approved disinfectant.

We will have staff working at our headquarters along with staff working from home to ensure that our essential services will continue for our clients during this time. Our office is open Monday—Friday 8am to 5pm excluding holidays and can be reached by phone at 406-533-6858.

Below is a summary of operations by program located in the Emma Park Neighborhood Center:

Homeless Services and Housing Services – Staff will continue meeting with clients by phone and working with our community partners to ensure continued delivery of services. Staff performing outreach of any kind will follow safety guidelines including the use of masks and disposable gloves as appropriate. Staff who are performing outreach will be provided personal hand sanitizer.

LIEAP – Staff are accepting applications via our “drop box” and will communicate with clients as necessary by phone.

Energy Share  – Staff are accepting applications via our “drop box” and will be communicating with those involved by phone.

Housing Choice Voucher programs (Section 8) Staff are accepting paperwork via our “drop box” and will communicate with clients and landlords as necessary by phone.

Youth Services – Staff will meet with clients by phone.

Weatherization – Staff will meet with clients by phone.

If staff from the above-mentioned departments need to meet in person with clients, the following precautions will be followed:

  • Staff will meet with clients in the Community Room. Clients will enter directly through the Community Room entrance on Silver St.
  • Staff will wear a face covering and offer a disposable face covering to clients.
  • Staff will maintain a six (6) foot distance from client as much as possible.
  • Staff will sanitize area after each use.
  • Pens and paperwork will be sanitized.

 

Other Programs Administered Off-Site

“We Deliver”— The program that provides free lunches at scattered sites around Butte-Silver Bow will continue. Staff will maintain the grab-and-go process for distributing the lunches while maintaining social distancing and taking precautions with appropriate PPE and sanitization.

Continental Gardens Staff have restricted visitors to essential care providers only and have restricted the use of common areas within the facility. Staff and tenants have been provided face coverings. Frequent sanitation with  of the facility and commonly touched surfaces are performed several throughout the day.

  • Staff who need to enter a tenant’s apartment will wear PPE such gloves and masks. The tenant will temporarily leave the apartment while staff are working in the apartment.
  • Tenants have been instructed to not congregate in the “smoke shack” outside and advised to go 30ft from the building via their apartment hallway.
  • Signage is posted outside of the building that face coverings are recommended.

 

Head Start – Will remain closed through the end of the 2019-2020 season. Staff are in the process of planning for a potential summer program and for instruction to resume in the fall. Once these plans have been finalized, they will be sent to the Butte-Silver Bow Health Department for review.

 

Summer Meals Program—Action Inc.’s 2020 Summer Meals Program will operate June 8 through August 14, 2020. Meals will be provided at 18 sites and available between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.  Startup activities and training will be conducted the last week of May and the first week of June. COVID-19 training and personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided to all staff and volunteers involved in the Summer Meals Program.

Meal Kitchen Sites: Butte High and West Elementary Schools. Six cooks, three at each site, will prepare meals including breakfast and lunch.

  • Meals will all be in paper sacks and will be distributed at grab and go meal sites.
  • Action Inc. cooks and kitchen helpers are currently working for the Butte School District and are providing meals for kids since in-school classes were curtailed in March.
  • Action Inc. will go over all COVID-19 safety measures with the kitchen staff and volunteers and any other measures the Butte-Silver Bow Health Department (BSBHD) may want implemented.
  • Kitchen staff and volunteers will be provided PPE each day including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, sanitizer wipes and soap and water.
  • Training will include the importance of social distancing, wearing PPE, frequent hand washing and any other measures the BSBHD may require.

Meal Transportation:  Action Inc. has five (5) vans that will be used to transport meals to the 18 meal sites throughout Butte and Ramsay. Three (3) staff personal vehicles may also be used in delivering meals.

  • All drivers will attend Summer Meals training including COVID-19 preparedness and PPE will be provided each day.
  • Action Inc. anticipates that only the driver will be in the van, however, there may be times when two (2) people will be in a van. protective measures will be implemented including wearing PPE, hand sanitizer in all vehicles, and any other measures the BSBHD may require.

Meal Sites: Action Inc. will operate 18 meal sites.

  • All Meal Site staff and volunteers will attend Summer Meals training including COVID-19 preparedness and PPE will be provided each day.
  • Transportation staff will provide meal sites with a table and site identification banner each day.
  • All items will be wiped down with sanitizing wipes.
  • Meal Site Volunteers will provide meals to kids and families across a table using proper social distancing and wearing PPE.
  • Those picking up the meals will be instructed to social distance if they are not, they will pick up the number of meals requested from the volunteer and then will leave the site.
  • All meals are prepared and provided in a grab and go style.
  • Once the mealtime is completed the van drivers will come back to the site to pick-up left-over meals, table, and banner.
  • The table and banner will be wiped down with sanitized wipes. Any remaining food will be given to an organization in need.  Action Inc. is still determining these organizations.

Action Inc. will keep you informed should COVID-19 affect any future agency operations.

While we don’t have all of the answers for what will happen with COVID-19, many people across our agency are working diligently to plan and coordinate with our community partners for multiple scenarios and keep our entire community informed.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment during this complicated time. We also appreciate your patience as we work through the many issues that the spread of COVID-19 has raised for all of our employees and clients.

If you would like additional information regarding the steps that Action Inc. is taking, please contact Jamie Paul at 406-533-6858 or jpaul@action-inc.org