Our response to COVID-19

This information is accurate as of May 6, 2021. These agency-wide changes that we’ve implemented are aligned with current public guidelines from county and state officials. They are also aligned with our mission to help vulnerable individuals and families in the Puget Sound region achieve well-being, health and stability. We are committed to serving our community in this evolving moment.

Please check back on this page regularly for the most recent updates. You can also download our COVID-19 program infographic, which provides a snapshot of our current services and offerings.

Learn how JFS is pivoting to meet this unprecedented moment.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is JFS still open?
    Yes! We are still serving clients, but we have shifted our services to telephone and web-based interactions where possible. Our Seattle and Kent campuses are open, but we are limiting access to essential services. Our Eastside campus is closed to clients currently. We are adhering to local, state and national guidelines and are adapting as necessary.
  • I need financial assistance. How can I get in touch?
    We understand this is an uncertain and worrisome time. Please visit our Community Stabilization Services page and fill out the request form. If we’re able to assist you, we will respond within one week of your inquiry.
  • How can I help?

    This is an unprecedented moment and we need you. Please consider making a gift of any amount today. Your contribution will ensure that we can continue providing essential human services to the thousands of individuals and families who turn to us for help. If you would like to volunteer, please fill out the registration form on our Volunteer Services page. Because the situation is so fluid, we are continually adapting to Public Health guidelines.

  • How is the food bank being impacted?
    The Polack Food Bank in Capitol Hill is still open to guests on Wednesday and Friday mornings as well as Thursday afternoons. We are now accepting guests from all zip codes, not just in the immediate surrounding areas, due to the circumstances caused by COVID-19. We have also moved away from a monthly model to a weekly schedule. Guests can now pick up groceries each week instead of each month. Due to social distancing recommendations, we’ve moved to a pre-bagged model to limit interactions between volunteers, staff and clients and to ensure safety. We have also expanded our home delivery model to serve homebound individuals. Our Eastside food bank is taking place via delivery as well. To make these deliveries, we’ve partnered with Temple B’nai Torah, who is helping us split up the bags according to household and then make contactless drop-offs. Our Kosher food bank is currently also taking place via delivery, but starting in September 2020, those who observe Kosher dietary laws can visit the food bank during regular distribution hours where they can request a pre-packed Kosher bag.
  • How are other client services being affected?

    All departments have pivoted as necessary to continue serving our community in this challenging time. We have moved our Counseling Services and Community Stabilization Services lines to HIPAA-compliant Zoom accounts so we will be able to offer support and telehealth services for all clients. To respond to the increased demand in requests for financial assistance (such as help with rent or utilities), we have redeployed several staff from different departments to help. In our Older Adult Services program, we are also teaching our senior clients how to reach us and to know when to pick up the phone if we call them. These calls go a long way in decreasing social isolation.

    We will update this page regularly as more programs implement alternative plans.

  • Are all JFS events canceled?
    All in-person JFS events are canceled through the foreseeable future in the interest of our community’s health and well-being. During COVID-19, we are offering support groups, webinars and other virtual resources on a regular basis. Our annual Community of Caring gathering was reimagined as a virtual event on April 9, 2021, and the entire recording may be found here. Thank you to everyone who attended and donated! Please visit our website calendar for the most current information on how events are being impacted.
  • What are guidelines for JFS staff?
    All JFS employees are encouraged to work from home if they are able, through at least June 2021 (at which point, we will reevaluate given the changing circumstances of the pandemic and availability of vaccines). We have provided remote work equipment for all employees based on their roles. Direct service staff have shifted how they interact with clients to include alternatives like telehealth therapy for counseling. Our Instruction & Support Specialist (ISS) staff have begun going back into some clients’ homes to provide critical in-home services. Staff members have completed educational trainings on how to use comprehensive Personal Protective Equipment, including face shields and gowns, before making these visits.
  • Who should I contact if I have further questions?
    Please get in touch with us at (206) 461-3240.

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