I hope this finds you and your loved ones healthy and secure in these uncertain and difficult times, and that you’ve also been able to find moments of joy and gratitude despite all the challenges around us.
The Kelsey’s team and partners have continued to work remotely over the last weeks. While giving space for our team to take care of themselves and their families, we’re grateful to continue creating inclusive housing communities and advancing policies and funding mechanisms to make those communities possible. We are fortunate to be in a position, thanks to donors and partners like you, to weather this storm right now and are refining strategy and building contingencies to ensure our work can continue in the medium and long term.
The struggles of COVID19 have been acute for those with disabilities, those without housing, and those without secure social supports and economic stability. The needs today reinforce the need for affordable, accessible, supportive inclusive housing. You can’t shelter in place, if you don’t have access to shelter.
People with disabilities have been pioneers in remote working and navigating life when mainstream systems fail, are unavailable, or inaccessible. They have been at the forefront of online organizing and hacking limited resources to do more for more people. We can, and have, learned from their leadership over the last weeks. People with disabilities also disproportionately live in poverty, rely on public systems and daily support staff, are forced into institutional housing, and undervalued in medical care. This period reinforces why, in all we do, The Kelsey is committed to a lens of disability justice where we hold up both the immeasurable value and unique marginalization of those with disabilities in our community.
On a Board of Directors meeting this week, one of our members reminded us how this time, where people are socially distanced and mostly isolated, may bring some needed awareness to the reality that many people with disabilities and others live every day. It reminds us that we each need community, we need each other. While we’re getting by with Zoom happy hours, Grandma Facetimes, and Google Hangouts yoga, nothing replaces true, supportive, in person community.
My hope is that we come out of this period with a clearer understanding of the inequities in our society and a commitment to remedy them; a stronger recognition of the contributions and needs of our neighbors with disabilities; and a deeper appreciation of true community and a recognition of our collective responsibility to make sure communities are inclusive of all people. Better times are ahead, and we’re committed to working with you in making sure they’re better for all people. Grateful for your continued partnership, encouragement, and support.