The Community Action Network Response to the Coronavirus

As of March 10, 2020, there has been one confirmed case of COVID-19 (the disease caused by the coronavirus). As the prevalence of the virus continues to spread across the nation, the probability that there will be additional cases in Kansas is quite high. KACAP recognizes that measures to limit the spread of this virus may affect many aspects of business operations. We have developed this statement to explain to our stakeholders what steps we are taking to protect our staff, our partners, and our community, and how those steps will affect the way we do business. 

Staffing

We have not made any changes to our work arrangements yet. If the spread of the virus reaches a point where we determine that gathering in the office increases the danger of contracting or transmitting the disease, we will take steps to limit the time in the office, which may include requiring staff to work at home. It is possible, therefore, that staff will not be able to respond to calls to our office phone number or to mailed correspondence as quickly as usual. We encourage the use of e-mail (elena@kacap.org and tasia@kacap.org) to communicate with us.

Meetings

KACAP conducts and/or facilitates a number of meetings. Many of these meetings involve bringing together staff from KACAP’s member agencies for sharing of information, discussing common problems, and learning about new tools and resources. We have found that the face-to-face aspect of these meetings is invaluable, and the KACAP board has reaffirmed that the facilitation of such meetings is one of the most important functions that KACAP plays. We are presently hosting virtual meetings.

While our clear preference is for face-to-face meetings, KACAP will work with member agencies, partners, and others to determine the conditions under which it is no longer appropriate to hold face-to-face meetings and to identify appropriate alternatives.

Kansas Conference on Poverty

The annual Kansas Conference on Poverty is one of the activities that KACAP is best known for. The conference brings together 200-250 people from across the state to spend three days discussing and learning about poverty, creating new partnerships, and exploring new approaches to reducing poverty in the state. Over the years, this conference has been responsible for building new and lasting connections between people and organizations that work to address the causes and conditions of poverty. We believe in the importance of this conference to our mission of reducing poverty, and will make every reasonable effort to ensure that it continues. However, we recognize that public health officials warn that mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of the disease. As of April 7, 2020, we have canceled the 2020 Conference on Poverty.

KACAP members’ services

Each KACAP member agency is examining its own policies and practices and will make modifications as it deems necessary. Because many of our agencies provide services that provide face-to-face contact between agency staff and customers, some agencies may modify service delivery or even temporarily make some services unavailable. KACAP will work with our members to identify how the coronavirus threat has changed what they are able to do with their customers and will work to make such information widely available. 

Updated June 2, 2020