April 24, 2020 Queens Centers for Progress (QCP), a provider of supports and services to individuals with developmental disabilities, honored their essential Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) on Thursday, April 23rd, with a cavalcade of 16 cars and 25 individuals that drove past the nine group homes that the agency operates in Queens.
Directors, staff, elected officials– including NYS Assemblyman David I. Weprin (District 24) and Council Member Barry S. Grodenchick (District 23) — and family of those who reside in the homes lined up in their cars, to show their appreciation and support of the heroes who take care of the residents.
The agency, now in its 70th year of service to the Queens community, has 73 people residing in their homes. The success of their care relies entirely on the Residential Program and their committed staff. In “normal” times, this is hard enough. Budgetary constraints make it difficult to attract and retain staff, but during the pandemic, the heroic staff rose to the occasion, as many of the homes went into quarantine.
“Our staff is dedicated to the people whom we serve. They have put themselves and their families at considerable risk by agreeing to quarantine for two weeks in each of our homes. Working twenty-four hours, seven days a week to take care of our individuals. They are truly heroes and represent the best of us.” said Terri Ross, Executive Director for the agency. “This parade is to show our support and gratitude to our staff, for doing everything in their power to make sure our residents are safe and well cared for. They are our front line heroes.”
Despite the efforts the agency has made to keep their staff and individuals safe, including spending over $90,000 on PPE, the agency has experienced the unspeakable loss of five of their residents to the virus and underlying health issues. Despite the loss, and the emotional and physical toll that caring for this vulnerable population entails, the QCP heroes remain upbeat and are doing all they can to calm and comfort their vulnerable charges, and provide the quality of care that QCP has built its reputation on — even when faced with the Coronavirus.
The Cavalcade for the Heroes met at 9:00 AM in front of 89-11 Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights. The route then passed by the homes in Jackson Heights, Jamaica Estates, Bellerose and New Hyde Park, with the last stop at the agencies six acre Bellerose Campus where there are five homes. In addition to decorating the cars and driving past the houses, the agency installed signs, thanking their staff and indicating “Heroes Work Here” in front of each location. The signs were generously donated by Minuteman Press of Bellerose.
To support QCP at this time text SupportQCP to 71777.