COVID-19 Newsletters Summer-Fall 2020 Newsletter Updates

A Letter from Our CEO

This end of summer and back-to-school season are like no other.

Spring and summer have brought protests and pandemics, and we’re all experiencing a great deal of uncertainty about what the future holds.

Which schools and businesses will reopen? What will reopening mean? How do we adapt as city budgets tighten in response to COVID-19?

Our staff have reoriented for new ways of providing service during the pandemic. I am honored to work with a team of such dedicated professionals.

Still, we face challenges. Stay at home is straining bandwidth and internet capacity across sites—wiring, router and service upgrades are needed.

Residents and staff are accessing public benefits assistance online, continuing counseling remotely, and using more video conferencing platforms to maintain connections. Critical empowerment, skills-building and behavioral health services once delivered only in person are creatively adapting to online tools.

Amid this uncertainty, these things remain clear:

  • We are home for homeless seniors, young mothers and LGBTQ young adults.
  • We are committed to providing individualized, trauma-informed care.
  • We are grateful for your generosity and your trust in us.

Although West End Residences receives government funding for basics and essential services, it falls short of meeting the needs for high-quality care. The support of individuals, corporations and foundations is life-changing. Thank you.

Together, we’re providing the tools and care for vulnerable homeless persons to heal and thrive.

To stay up-to-date on how we’re adapting services during the pandemic—and how you can help—sign up for email news at

May you and your families remain healthy and safe.

All the best,
Jeannette K. Ruffins
Chief Executive Officer

P.S. Read more in the Summer/Fall 2020 Newsletter


Newsletters Summer-Fall 2020 Newsletter Updates

Summer/Fall 2020 Newsletter


  • Making tie-dye face masks with the children at our Upper West Side location
  • How our Bronx staff use de-escalation techniques
  • Our video chat with volunteers the Mom Squad
  • New LGBTQ housing in Central Harlem
  • How we’re adapting our services during COVID-19

… and a thank you for your continuing support during the pandemic

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COVID-19 Intergenerational Residence Newsletters Summer-Fall 2020 Newsletter Updates

A Video Chat with Volunteers the Mom Squad

Our chief executive officer recently hosted a video chat with the
Intergenerational Residence Mom Squad.

Masks already were in fashion for a pre-pandemic birthday party at our Upper West Side location

The Mom Squad, a volunteer group of Upper West Side moms and friends, was formed in fall 2014 by Cheri Fandozzi, Doris Coleman, Neetu Lakhani and Jennifer Vickery. Pre-pandemic, volunteers hosted a monthly birthday party for the young families as well as a monthly hot meal and community gathering for the senior residents.

In response to COVID-19, Mom Squaders have provided face masks, hygiene items, nonperishable food, and a once-a-week meal delivery for the young families and older adults at our Intergenerational Residence.

Mom Squad members are creative problem-solvers. CEO Jeannette Ruffins spoke with them to thank them for their volunteerism and to discuss resident needs—including ideas for virtual and small group physical activities like dancing and yoga, and the ongoing need for toys and activities for restless toddlers.

Your passion and commitment to service are evident, as is your sense of connectedness to our residents and each other.

— Jeannette Ruffins, addressing the Mom Squad

“What you’ve built is remarkable,” she adds. “West End Residences thanks you and your children who have volunteered alongside you. In my 30-year nonprofit career, the Mom Squad stands out as a unique model of family volunteerism, particularly appropriate for an intergenerational site.”

Thank you to Mom Squaders Molly Burke, Lisa Cicha, Doris Coleman, Cheri Fandozzi, Stephanie King, Deirdre Lord, Adrienne Perry, Mary Rothfusz, Rachel Talbot and Jennifer Vickery for joining us for the video chat. Thank you to the entire Mom Squad for everything you do to serve the young families and older adults at our Upper West Side location.

To learn more about the most effective ways to volunteer during the pandemic, contact volunteer@westendres[DOT]org.