An Unprecedented Crisis: The WeCARE Program’s Experience Serving People with Mental and Physical Health Challenges During a Pandemic
The Wellness Comprehensive Assessment Rehabilitation and Employment (WeCARE) program provides clinical assessment, employment, Social Security application, wellness, and rehabilitation services to New York City residents who receive public assistance and have physical and/or mental health challenges to employment. Populations served by the WeCARE program include single adults who have limited resources and TANF recipients who struggle to meet work requirements. This report documents how WeCARE served clients before the COVID-19 pandemic, how the program changed in response to the employment and service needs of its clients during the pandemic and economic recession, and the implications of those changes to the WeCARE model. It also notes lessons WeCARE learned which could guide other agencies coping with significant shifts in service delivery, including serving people with physical and mental health challenges virtually.
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