July is Parks & Recreation Month, and on this very last day, we wanted to share with you what our dedicated team has been up to during this unprecedented time.
Life has changed a lot since Shelter-In-Place was ordered back in March due to COVID-19. “Normal” personal and business routines were upended and we found ourselves having to rapidly adapt to providing essential services, on numerous fronts, to our residents. We had to suddenly close a number of community centers, parks, restrooms, and recreational amenities while keeping larger parks open for individual exercise and going for a walk; focus our resources on food support for children, families, and seniors; launch a massive rental assistance program; open showers, porta-potties and hand washing stations for the homeless; redeploy staff; work from home; develop a virtual recreation center site; use our collective creativity to develop virtual camps and other programs, and step up to the plate and provide critical child care camps while wearing a smile under a mask.
We are so proud of the PRCS Team who have shown heart, determination, care, and a can-do spirit for our residents and for each other. Here’s a quick snapshot of what we have accomplished!
- The Veterans Memorial Senior Center has served 26,000 meals to over 600 seniors in 99 days.
- Kept in touch with our senior population via the drive-through lunch pickups and personal phone calls.
- Fair Oaks Community Center has provided continuity of the provision of homeless services such as shelter referrals, shower programs, food, toiletries, and other basic needs.
- We continued to manage the Homeless Shower Program at Hoover Pool; and we continued our partnership with the Dignity on Wheels Program (mobile shower and laundry service).
- We’ve serviced and sanitized 20 handwashing stations, 16 Porta-potties, and provided showers for our homeless population.
- In addition, our Human Services Team has provided tons of emergency food:
- Brown Bag Distribution, 2 times per month, 170 households (Second Harvest)
- Family Harvest Food Distribution, 275 households (monthly) (Second Harvest)
- Daily emergency food distribution, 20 households (MWF) for housed community members (Second Harvest)
- Providing 10 emergency groceries and toiletries per day for unhoused community members (St Vincent de Paul and Second Harvest)
- Sandwiches on Sunday—80 lunches every Sunday (Coalition of Churches)
- 876 households have been assisted with $1.7 million in COVID19 Relief Fund Rental Assistance.
- Provided logistical and daily support for the new outdoor dining program, Eat, Sip & Be in RWC.
- We have planted and replanted just under 100 trees in Red Morton Park.
- We are nearing completion on our incredible Magical Bridge Playground (to be opened when the state lifts restrictions).
- We revamped and reimagined summer camps, wrote new policies, and safely delivered in-person camps in Redwood City & Redwood Shores for over 230 kids.
- Created virtual programming for youth, teens, and seniors, and an online portal for all information regarding COVID-19.
- Supported child care programs at the Fair Oaks Community Center and the Sandpiper Community Center.
- Found ways to safely reopen limited park amenities.
- The Parks Division teams were recently outfitted with electric leaf blowers and electric walk-behind mowers which will reduce ongoing maintenance costs and will be much quieter!
- Partnered with the Parks & Arts Foundation for the first-ever Virtual Chalk For Fun Festival.
- Launched Shakespeare at Home via our ongoing partnership with San Francisco Shakespeare Festival (LIVE Virtual performances through September 27)
We promise to continue to provide City Services, keep you up-to-date, work on future programming, and do the best we can with the resources we have during this incredibly challenging time.
We have been here the whole time. We are Parks and Recreation and Community Services!