2021 Annual Report: Meeting the Need

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Services Related to COVID-19

Since March of 2020, FREED has been engaged in work to support individuals with disabilities, older adults and those with chronic health conditions that have been so impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

FREED’s work with the Aging and Disability Resource Connections (ADRCs) helped us to develop a broad view of the needs, by working closely with many partners that serve these populations.

Three people gathered around a table under an easy up in a parking lot. The table is piled with orange bags and cardboard boxes, both on top and below. A man with a long gray beard stands in front of the table. A woman holding up several bags stands beside it, behind them is another woman waving to the camera. The white FREED van is in the background
Emergency and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) drive-thru distribution.

We established that the top 5 needs in our counties were:

  1. Food Access, both obtaining food in safe ways, and paying for food when income may have reduced.
  2. Transportation, for many public transportation was no longer a safe option.
  3. Addressing the digital divide, many people needed support in connecting to internet services and/ or obtaining devices to help them connect as services and social interactions moved online.
  4. Isolation and Loneliness, while trying to keep themselves safe and social distancing.
  5. Transition & Diversion, getting people out of dangerous nursing homes and hospitals, and preventing people from having to go to these unsafe environments.

Addressing these needs, meant finding new funding and resources, and developing new partnerships. We are so proud of this important work and want to highlight what has happened in just under two years.

Food Access

FREED and the Food Bank of Nevada County, supported by a Community Grant developed a food delivery program. Qualifi ed individuals received a weekly delivery provided by volunteers. Supported by Anthem and the Yuba Sutter United Way, FREED distributed gift cards to help fund food purchases. Partnering with Agency on Aging Area 4, and funded through CARES Act, we expanded Home Delivered Meals to those under 60.

This work resulted in:

  • 4,023 grocery bags distributed
  • 1,927 prepared meals distributed
  • 527 gift cards distributed

Transportation Services

FREED used CARES Act funds to provide transportation to access essential goods and services. We became a concierge service provider for Uber so we could help people schedule and fund their rides. 2,178 one-way rides were provided to consumers.

Digital Divide

Through a donation received by the California Foundation of Independent Living Centers, and funding from a Community Grant, FREED provided 100 Chromebooks to those needing access to online services, and supported 52 of these individuals with getting access to affordable internet. An additional 41 individuals were provided significant 1:1 training to learn how to use the technology to meet their specific needs.

Isolation & Loneliness

FREED Expanded our Phone Reassurance Services to additional counties and dedicated volunteers performed 4.142 wellness and connection calls. FREED conducted 132 online peer support sessions with 108 individuals attending.

Transition & Diversion

FREED utilized CARES Act funds to increase our staffing to support people exiting nursing homes and keep people safe and health in the community to prevent stays in institutional settings.

FREED staff were able to support 64 individuals to move out of these congregate settings into the community and provided 497 individuals services that would prevent their entering these settings.

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