CFJ Response to COVID-19 Coronavirus: Focus On Client/Staff Safety

As of  July 6, 2020 CFJ has implemented a Phase Two COVID-19 response strategy for providing services to its clients impacted by domestic and sexual violence and child abuse. Beginning on this day, its main headquarters at 753 Fairfield Ave. in Bridgeport will be open to clients for scheduled appointments only. 

 

In order to keep our clients, staff and the public safe, we have taken the following steps which will remain in effect until further notice.

CRISIS SERVICES

  • Our headquarters at 753 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport, will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for clients with scheduled appointments only. Upon entering are building all staff and clients will be required to wear masks and submit to temperature checks. 
  • Client meetings will be held in rooms that have been sanitized between each client visit and have been outfitted with plexi-glass partitions to protect both clients and staff.
  • We respectfully ask our clients to come for their appointments alone whenever possible. Please discuss any challenges this may pose with your advocate in advance of your appointment.
  • Anyone in crisis, who does not have a scheduled appointment, will be directed to call our 24/7 hotlines which remain fully operational and staffed.
  • Our Kathie’s Place safe house  remains open and staffed to protect clients who have left abusive relationships.
  • Our support groups for Domestic and Sexual Violence will continue to meeting virtually. Please email Anne Morcone at AMorcone@CenterforFamilyJustice.org for information on Domestic Violence Survivors support group and Gail Wiggins at GWiggins@CenterforFamilyJustice.org for information on our Pathways to Healing support group for sexual violence .
  • Our Court Advocacy Team will continue to operate within parameters established by the state related to criminal and civil court operations, but will conduct client meetings by telephone.
  • Client-focused programs such as our Rise & Thrive Self-Sufficiency Series will be held virtually. Email Marisa Garwacki at MGarwacki@CenterforFamilyJustice.org to learn more.
  •  We are accepting donations of items such as toiletries, diapers and non-perishable food items on weekdays between 9:30 a.m.. and 4:30 p.m. only. Drop-offs must be scheduled in advance by calling our main number at 203-334-6154.
  • We are asking our on-site attorneys to consult with clients by telephone as much as possible, although some members of our Justice Legal Center incubator will be seeing clients on site.
  • Our on-site community partners will continue not to be on the premises until further notice.
  • We have temporarily suspended our Direct Service Volunteer program.
  • We will not be holding any fitness classes in our Bigelow Wellness Studio until further notice.
  • Our Camp HOPE America-Bridgeport program will convert to a day camp this year to be held on the grounds of the Lakewood-Trumbull YMCA’s Camp Tepee in Monroe in August.

Community Engagement & Events

  • We have instructed our staff to cancel any in-person meetings, trainings or participation in off-site events until further notice.
  • Our 2020 Speaking of Women luncheon, featuring survivor and activist Rachel Lloyd, will be held virtually this year on Tuesday, Sept. 22. Please contact Lisa Labella on our Development Team at LLabella@CenterforFamilyJustice.org to learn more about attending and sponsorship opportunities.

How YOU can help!

It remains imperative we meet the immediate needs of our clients experiencing domestic and sexual violence.  Inevitably, our ability to hold community events that help us raise the funds and collect donations critical to providing these services will be impacted.

You can continue to support the adults and children we serve during this critical time by doing the following:

  • Donating Virtual Gift Cards in small denominations to stores such as Target, Walmart, CVS & Stop & Shop. These gift cards will help our clients access things they need as our donation program is temporarily suspended. These gift cards can be sent via email to Mark Antonini at MAntonini@CenterforFamilyJustice.org
  • As an alternate you may mail actual gift cards to Mark’s attention to our headquarters at 753 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport 06604. While our offices are closed, we check the mail daily.
  • Please donate to our COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. Visit our website at CenterforFamilyJustice.org and click on the Donate button.
  • Please follow us on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for continued updates.

 

 

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