Letters from the Executive Director on Sieda Community Action’s COVID-19 Response

May 14, 2020

With the Governor easing restrictions state wide, there may be people with questions about when Sieda Community Action will be returning to business as usual. Sieda’s leadership team is currently working on a plan to reopen our offices to the public. We are examining a number of scenarios and a great deal of information in order to make the best possible decision for our clients, our staff, our communities, and our organization.

With the exception of some select programs, Sieda has not stopped doing business since the pandemic reached Iowa in mid-March. We have continued to provide services to clients for the past eight weeks; albeit in a different way. We have continued counseling services for substance use disorders. We have continued to process LIHEAP and crisis requests to ensure our most vulnerable have access to vital utilities. We have continued to help FaDSS clients address their barriers to self-sufficiency.  We have continued to provide parent education and support through our MIECHV and Parents as Teachers programs. We have continued to help under-resourced families with Tenant Based Rental Assistance. While dealing with personal and professional uncertainty and stress, Sieda staff have continued to serve. I could not be more proud of the people who have chosen to share their talents with our organization. There is a reason we chose a super-hero as our mascot.

We hope to have a plan to share in the coming week. In the meantime, the following conditions remain in place:
  • Head Start centers are closed through the end of the academic year. We hope to resume classes in our stand-alone centers and our school district partnerships in the fall, but will continue to follow the advice of the Governor, local school districts, and public health officials to determine when centers will reopen. Head Start staff will continue to reach out to families to address the academic and developmental needs of students.
  • Sieda has closed the lobbies in all Community Resource Centers and office doors are locked. Sieda will continue to accept and support Low-income Home Energy Assistance applications and crisis services online and by phone. We ask that clients call their local resource center or 1-800-622-8340.
  • Sieda individual Substance Abuse counseling has moved to telehealth services exclusively. All offices, with the exception of hours for Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) in Ottumwa, have closed their lobbies and the office doors are locked. Please call ahead to schedule an appointment for an evaluation or treatment at 641-683-6747.
  • Much of Sieda’s staff has been asked to work from home.
  • Sieda has suspended all face-to-face group meetings (this includes substance abuse treatment groups, group connections, and other meetings offered through Sieda programs). We are offering some group meetings using teleconferencing and webconferencing technology.
  • Sieda has suspended out-of-county travel for meetings and training and is limiting travel between counties for Sieda staff.
  • We have suspended face-to-face home visitation services. Sieda home-visitation staff is using electronic means to engage with families and clients.

Clients and partners may also contact Sieda via our online tool. Please be certain to include a phone number in your message so staff are able to contact you to schedule an appointment or answer your questions.

Sieda staff and our Board of Directors continue to do our best to support under-resourced families in our communities. Please visit our news page or our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SiedaCommunityAction/) for up-to-date information on our programs and services. All of us at Sieda appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the next several weeks.

All the best,

Brian Dunn
Executive Director
Sieda Community Action

April 17, 2020

Following guidance from the Governor’s office and our funding sources, Sieda has made additional changes to our day-to-day operations. We continue to strive to meet client needs while ensuring we take the appropriate steps to protect community health.

  • Head Start centers are closed through the end of the academic year. We hope to resume classes in our stand-alone centers and our school district partnerships in the fall, but will continue to follow the advice of the Governor, local school districts, and public health officials to determine when centers will reopen. Head Start staff will continue to reach out to families to address the academic and developmental needs of students.
  • Sieda has closed the lobbies in all Community Resource Centers and office doors are locked. Sieda will continue to accept and support Low-income Home Energy Assistance applications and crisis services online and by phone. We ask that clients call their local resource center or 1-800-622-8340.
  • Sieda individual Substance Abuse counseling has moved to telehealth services exclusively. This is in accordance with the guidelines now allowable through the Governor’s proclamation. All offices, with the exception of hours for Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) in Ottumwa, have closed their lobbies and the office doors are locked. Please call ahead to schedule an appointment for an evaluation or treatment at 641-683-6747.
  • Much of Sieda’s staff has been asked to work from home.
  • Sieda has suspended all face-to-face group meetings (this includes substance abuse treatment groups, group connections, and other meetings offered through Sieda programs). We have begun offering some group meetings using teleconferencing and webconferencing technology. 
  • Sieda has suspended out-of-county travel for meetings and training and is limiting travel between counties for Sieda staff.
  • We have suspended face-to-face home visitation services. Sieda home-visitation staff is using electronic means to engage with families and clients.

Clients and partners may also contact Sieda via our online tool. Please be certain to include a phone number in your message so staff are able to contact you to schedule an appointment or answer your questions.

Sieda staff and our Board of Directors continue to do our best to support under-resourced families in our communities. Please visit our news page or our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SiedaCommunityAction/) for up-to-date information on our programs and services. All of us at Sieda appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the next several weeks. 

April 2, 2020

Following guidance from the Governor’s office and our funding sources, Sieda has made additional changes to our day-to-day operations. We continue to strive to meet client needs while ensuring we take the appropriate steps to protect community health.

  • Sieda has closed the lobbies in all Community Resource Centers and office doors are locked. Sieda will continue to accept and support Low-income Home Energy Assistance applications and crisis services online and by phone. We ask that clients call their local resource center or 1-800-622-8340.
  • Sieda individual Substance Abuse counseling has moved to telehealth services exclusively. This is in accordance with the guidelines now allowable through the Governor’s proclamation. All offices, with the exception of hours for Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) in Ottumwa, have closed their lobbies and the office doors are locked. Please call ahead to schedule an appointment for an evaluation or treatment at 641-683-6747.
  • Head Start centers are closed until April 30. Sieda will follow the advice of the Governor, local school districts, and public health officials to determine when centers will reopen.
  • Much of Sieda’s staff has been asked to work from home.
  • Sieda has suspended all face-to-face group meetings (this includes substance abuse treatment groups, group connections, and other meetings offered through Sieda programs). We are working to begin meetings using web-conferencing services.
  • Sieda has suspended out-of-county travel for meetings and training and is limiting travel between counties for Sieda staff.
  • We have suspended face-to-face home visitation services. Sieda home-visitation staff may use electronic means to engage with families and clients.

Clients and partners may also contact Sieda via our online tool. Please be certain to include a phone number in your message so staff are able to contact you to schedule an appointment or answer your questions.

Sieda staff and our Board of Directors continue to do our best to support under-resourced families in our communities. Please visit our news page or our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SiedaCommunityAction/) for up-to-date information on our programs and services. All of us at Sieda appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the next several weeks. 

March 18, 2020

Following guidance from the Governor’s office and our funding sources, Sieda has made additional changes to our day-to-day operations. We continue to strive to meet client needs while ensuring we take the appropriate steps to protect community health.

  • Sieda has closed the lobbies in all Community Resource Centers and office doors are locked. Sieda will continue to accept and support Low-income Home Energy Assistance applications and crisis services online and by phone. We ask that clients call their local resource center or 1-800-622-8340.
  • Sieda individual Substance Abuse counseling has moved to telehealth services exclusively. This is in accordance with the guidelines now allowable through the Governor’s proclamation. All offices, with the exception of hours for Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) in Ottumwa, have closed their lobbies and the office doors are locked. Please call ahead to schedule an appointment for an evaluation or treatment.
  • Head Start centers are closed for four weeks beginning March 16. Sieda will follow the advice of the Governor, local school districts, and public health officials to determine when centers will reopen.
  • Much of Sieda’s staff has been asked to work from home.
  • Sieda has suspended all face-to-face group meetings (this includes substance abuse treatment groups, group connections, and other meetings offered through Sieda programs). We are working to begin meetings using web-conferencing services.
  • Sieda has suspended out-of-county travel for meetings and training and is limiting travel between counties for Sieda staff.
  • We have suspended face-to-face home visitation services. Sieda home-visitation staff may use electronic means to engage with families and clients.

March 17, 2020

The current state and national emergency brought about by COVID-19 has forced many organizations and businesses to adjust operations to prevent further spread of the virus. Sieda Community Action is no different. On March 16, Sieda leadership met to determine the best course of action that would allow our organization to both protect our communities from COVID-19 and continue to serve under-resourced families. Effective immediately Sieda Community Action will make the following adjustments to our operations.

  • Head Start centers are closed for four weeks beginning March 16. Sieda will follow the advice of the Governor, local school districts, and public health officials to determine when centers will reopen. 
  • Much of Sieda’s staff has been asked to work from home. 
  • Sieda has suspended all face-to-face group meetings (this includes substance abuse treatment groups, group connections, and other meetings offered through Sieda programs). 
  • Sieda has suspended out-of-county travel for meetings and training and is limiting travel between counties for Sieda staff. 
  • We have suspended face-to-face home visitation services. Sieda home-visitation staff may use electronic means to engage with families and clients. 
  • Sieda Medication Assisted Treatment and individual Substance Abuse counseling and treatment services will continue in most of our Behavioral Health and Treatment Services offices. We are pursuing approval and the technological means to offer telehealth counseling services. Please call ahead to schedule an appointment for an evaluation or treatment. 
  • Sieda Resource Centers will remain open to accept and support Low-income Home Energy Assistance applications and crisis services. We ask that clients call their local resource center or 1-800-622-8340. Sieda is also able to take applications online or by telephone. 

If clients must visit Sieda in person, we request that they ask themselves the following questions. 

  • Do you (or anyone in your household) currently have fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain?
  • Have you experienced any of the above symptoms in the last 14 days? 
  • Have you had contact with anyone with a known or possible exposure to the coronavirus in the last 14 days? 
  • Have you or anyone in the household recently ended hospitalization due to confirmed coronavirus or due to travel to a high risk area?

If the client is able to answer yes to any of those questions, we ask that they do not visit our offices. Instead, we recommend clients contact their healthcare provider for medical evaluation.

There is no doubt we are facing challenging times. Sieda staff and our Board of Directors will continue to do our best to support under-resourced families in our communities. Please visit www.sieda.org or our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SiedaCommunityAction/) for up-to-date information on our programs and services. All of us at Sieda appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the next several weeks. 

All the best,

Brian Dunn
Executive Director
Sieda Community Action