St Mary’s Outreach Center (SMOC) provides services to older, low-income adults in Baltimore City who are aging in place. Its clients include homeowners living alone, grandparents raising children, residents of senior housing apartments, and some who are at risk of becoming homeless. The agency provides information and referral services, benefits assistance, educational programs, and case management.
Before the COVID epidemic, these clients were able to access services by coming to the office. Although a few clients still come to the facility with masks and practice social distancing, most of its contacts have been through remote means. This is a particular problem for SMOC, as its clients may not have either the knowledge or the technology to interact in this way. In addition, SMOC often needs to refer clients to government agencies such as Social Security or Medicare, and these offices are also experiencing difficulty and may not be easy to reach.
As one of SMOC’s clients said, “I don't have anywhere else to turn when I have questions about a program or get paperwork that I don't understand. You've all been life savers for me, and for so many people in this neighborhood.”
Thanks to the dedication of Executive Director, Tasha Cornish, Case Manager, Fred Gorman, and many volunteers, St. Mary’s Outreach Center is meeting the challenges of this very difficult time.