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Bay Ridge Center: Social Connectedness in the Time of Social Distancing

Written by Todd W. Fliedner, Deputy Executive Director, Bay Ridge Center

When Bay Ridge Center was mandated to close its congregate facility and satellite space on March 16, it was anything but business as usual. Like all other businesses and organizations, we were forced to adapt to the social distancing requirements in a way that allowed us to continue to fulfill our core mission:  provide services and programs to seniors in southwest Brooklyn, support their independence, and encourage their involvement in community life.

The call for social isolation has been hard on all New Yorkers, but for senior citizens it can be especially troublesome and even unhealthy.  That’s why we’re proud to launch our Village to Village community platform to keep our clients connected during this challenging time.

Through the Bay Ridge Connects’ Digital Village Center, which is accessible on mobile devices and computers, community members:

  • Participate in live-streamed classes, talks, mastermind groups and organization meetings. Anything’s possible: from group language classes, book groups, faith-based meetings, political activism, etc.
  • Enjoy free video chat to socialize or collaborate in community, faith-based and business
  • Join special interest groups, including an online LGBTQ community
  • Create, share and learn from text and video content, forums and blogs
  • Benefit from rides shares and other transportation innovation
  • Gain opportunities to learn and apply new skills
  • Get check-ins, if needed, to stem loneliness, ensure nutrition, increase well-being
  • Make new friends and widen social network

In addition to continuing our Home Delivered Meals service which brings hot meals to over 650 homebound clients daily, Bay Ridge Center is in contact with our members via telephone performing wellness check-ins several times weekly and also to provide any current, vital information they need to know. We have also prioritized the gathering of critical contact information from our members including e-mail addresses and cell phone numbers with texting capability in order to reach them virtually during this critical time.

In a time of required social isolation, we’re proud maintain our social connection. 

Learn more about Bay Ridge Center at https://www.bayridgecenter.com/

It’s more important than ever for individuals, companies, and nonprofits to find creative ways to assist those in need. We can help.  Contact us at jeanne@capalino.com or 212.616.5832

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