Across Minnesota COVID-19 has inconvenienced the lives of most but it is different in the more rural and isolated areas of our state. Here the lives of our most vulnerable citizens - adults struggling with physical, developmental, intellectual, and mental health challenges have been pulverized into mere shadows of what they were just a few months ago.
Regrettably the pandemic has seen organizations like Floodwood Services and Training, Inc (FST), a seasoned veteran with decades of experience successfully helping our most vulnerable, now teetering on the brink. At risk is the very continuance of operations that participants and area communities have come to trust and rely on. Founded by our community, FST reaffirms its original determination to meet the new COVID-19 generated challenges and doubles-down on our commitments to the vulnerable.
Recent modifications in program delivery and minimal financial support via retention grants are helpful but do not compensate the organization for all its losses during the time where services could not be provided. Nor do they account for the fear of many participants to return to FST programs in spite of safety reassurances. For example, FST provides remote day services to an adult who is willing to meet to get into a vehicle and go for a ride but is afraid to get out of the vehicle until they are returned to their home. FST is working diligently with participants, providers, case managers, family members and other stakeholders educating and encouraging participants to return to day program and supported employment activities.
FST as the heart and hands of each donor is dependent on the generosity of like-minded folks such as yourselves who understand and are willing to not forget those most vulnerable and often forgotten. We are calling on everyone, especially at this unsettling time, to dig deep and contribute. The generosity of others will ensure that we get through this unprecedented time with our most vulnerable communities cared for and supported. We ensure that our efforts to overcome this challenge are channeled in the best possible manner and look forward to helping Minnesota’s most vulnerable population for many years to come. Dawn Lamping, FST Executive Director so aptly stated, "Whenever and wherever adversity strikes, we folks of rural Minnesota have a unique ability to pull together, showing the very best of our values and human nature.”