The novel coronavirus has been and continues to be unprecedented and disruptive to all. In these very uncertain times, people with substance addiction still need us. They need us now more than ever. The anxiety COVID-19 is causing can have a devastating impact on individuals with substance use disorder, even triggering a return to use. We cannot turn our backs on the people who need us the most. I implore you to show compassion and empathy to the most vulnerable members of our community, including those with addiction and those facing homelessness.
Integrity House will continue its service delivery across all programs and locations.
For more than 51 years, the safety of our program participants, staffers, neighbors, and communities has been paramount. We are taking this matter very seriously. To ensure that safety and awareness are guiding recovery for the hundreds of people who are relying on Integrity House, we have implemented the following sensible policies in response to the pandemic.
- All external visits, including family and child visits, have been suspended until further notice. We recognize that family support is critical to recovery and encourage communication through phone calls. This does not include admissions-related visits or screenings.
- All admissions-related visitors will be screened through a questionnaire and have their temperature checked.
- All staffers are required to wash their hands every time they enter any Integrity House building, including at the start of the workday, upon returning from lunch, etc. Staffers have been urged to wash their hands regularly throughout the day, and follow other sensible hygiene recommendations. As you’re reading this, our organization is rolling out an internal marketing campaign to continuously promote outstanding hygiene.
- Integrity House has rigorously cleaned all of its buildings, both programmatic and administrative. Staffers are required to disinfect their workstations at the start and end of the workday.
- Meal times for participants of residential programs have been thoughtfully staggered to keep the number of individuals in our cafeterias at a minimum at all times.
- Provisions, including food, water, medication, cleaning supplies, soap, etc., have been ordered and added to our stockpile.
- All student internship programs with our partnering higher education institutions have been suspended until further notice.
- Integrity House is currently exploring telehealth opportunities (at the outpatient levels) with its funding sources in preparation for increased distancing recommendations from federal, state, and local health agencies.
- Integrity House is ALWAYS a stigma-free zone. Staffers who are sick have been encouraged to stay home.
Integrity House is closely monitoring and following the recommendations of the federal, state, and local governments. Each day, we are learning more from our elected and appointed officials. We are prepared to tailor our response to consistently adhere to public health requirements and promise to keep you informed on any changes.
Today, especially, I am grateful for our brave staff. They are committed to delivering critical services despite extraordinary circumstances — even as their children are home from school, supermarket shelves are empty, and fears are high. Their professionalism is getting us through this.
Thank you and be well.
Robert J. Budsock
President and Chief Executive Officer