(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Staff at the Community Action Partnership are facing the tough challenge of working for the community amid the pandemic.
"We’re trying to balance out the best that we possibly can," said Rachael Bittiker, Community Development, Public Relations Director, Community Action Partnership said. "Once you run out of staff to cover staff it becomes an issue."
The organization's main challenge is keeping services they know people depend on, up and running despite staff having to quarantine. The Head Start program for example, is facing the possibility of going virtual after multiple CAP members have tested positive for Covid-19. Bittiker said about 450 kids are in the program across four counties in our area including Buchanan.
The virus' spread within the organization reflects it's spread throughout the community according to Bittiker, she said the recent spike affects all of CAP's services.
"The effects [are] trickling down to maintaining and struggling to maintain staff within the programs at CAP, not just at Head Start but across the board." Bittiker said.
Bittiker added that staff are aware that the very pandemic that’s making things harder for them is having a similar, if not worse, impact on those they serve. She said keeping services going is a must.
"We want to make sure even though we’re at a handicap now that we’re still making sure that the families that we’re serving are safe and they have everything that they need." Bittiker said.
After the first closure of CAP's S 9th St. location for two months back in March, Bittiker added that CAP staff are ready to make the switch to virtual again if need be.
"If it looks like that we’re going to have to do this again we know that it’ll be successful again and we’ll be okay." She said.
CAP's S 9th St. location is closed to the public for the next two weeks after multiple staff tested positive, other locations across the city remain open.