Queens Centers for Progress, a provider of supports and services for people with developmental disabilities, will be honoring their Essential Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) on Thursday, April 23, with a cavalcade of cars that will drive past nine group homes that the agency operates in Queens.
Directors, staff, and families of those who reside in the homes will be lining up, in their cars, to show their appreciation and support of the heroes that work inside their group homes.
The QCP, now in its 70th year of service to the Queens community, has 73 people residing in their homes. The success of the care in the group homes 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 COVID-19 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” QCP Executive Director Terri Ross said. “Working twenty-four hours, seven days a week to take care of our individuals. They are truly heroes and represent the best of us.”
Despite the efforts the agency has made to keep its staff and individuals safe, including spending more than $90,000 on PPE, the agency has experienced the unspeakable loss of five of its 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.
“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,” Ross said. “They are our frontline heroes.”
The Cavalcade for the Heroes will meet at 9 a.m. in front of 89-11 Northern Blvd. in Jackson Heights. The route will pass by group homes in Jackson Heights, Jamaica Estates, New Hyde Park, with the last stop at QCP’s Bellerose Campus, where there are five homes.
In addition to decorating their cars and driving past the houses, the agency will install signs thanking their staff and indicating “Heroes WorkHere” in front of each location. The signs have been donated by Minuteman Press of Bellerose.
To support QCP at this time text QCPSupport to 71777.