Morristown Housing Authority – SENIOR BUILDINGS UPDATE
With COVID-19 we are dealing with a pandemic that is unprecedented in our lifetimes. In addition to the serious medical concerns associated with the virus, the Morristown Housing Authority (“MHA”) is attempting to protect our low-income elderly residents from exploitation and unwanted solicitation relating to this crisis. To this end, as a not for profit organization, the MHA always welcomes donations of food, clothing, furniture, etc… from businesses, religious institutions, and individuals for the exclusive benefit of our low-income residents. All donations for our residents should be made directly to the Morristown Housing Authority at 31 Early Street, Morristown NJ 07960. Any questions regarding this policy should be directed to (973) 538-6343, Customer Service Line.
The residents at our three buildings designated for senior living have lost very little food services to date as a result of COVID19. The 31 Early lunch program that existed for many years is in place (now only for pick up and select delivery); however, it provides services to all three buildings. Moreover, the two new programs that have been temporarily suspended began only within the last six months (a one day a week fresh grocery program-Nourish NJ and a three day a week Arts, Crafts and Activities Senior Program (“ACASP”) at 39 Early Street). While acknowledging the importance of these programs for our senior residents, we are currently working with Nourish NJ to modify the non-perishable grocery delivery system to restart operations. The ACASP could not avoid suspension due to the current risks associated with groups of elderly people gathering. Notwithstanding the ACASP’s suspension, the 8 to 12 people who regularly attended this program are fully eligible for the 31 Early lunch program in the building next door.
It is important to note that no breakfast or dinner programs have ever been provided to our seniors as an amenity. In addition, the Town of Morristown has currently added transportation services to the grocery store for our elderly residents during these difficult times. The MHA is also conducting regular phone surveys of all senior households as wellness check-ins. This is being conducted to determine any needs or service gaps our senior residents may have. Those seniors we can't reach by phone will get a door to door “social distance” visit to gauge needs (we are trying to limit the visits as much as humanly possible).
Our residents, like many in society are feeling the burden of social isolation more than food programming being removed. Some of our senior residents rarely get visitors, so the current COVID19 restrictions on guest (with the exception of home health and medical aides) is very difficult for them.
As we obtain documented evidence of residents needs through calls and face to face discussions, we will be happy to provide the results to governmental entities, interested private companies and non-profits. With this information, enlightened decisions on assistance can be made by all of us. In the meantime, if any organization, business or individual desires to donate goods or services for the elderly residents at the MHA, please contact us directly at (973)538-6343.