Author: Graham Schiltz
In a public school setting where students vastly outnumber teachers, some children need more support than what the school’s personnel can provide. For more than a decade in Harrisonburg, this gap has been filled by government-supported in-school therapy, known as Therapeutic Day Treatment. Now that schools are closed for the remainder of the academic year, though, providers are scrambling to find ways to reach the students who need them.
Community resources in Harrisonburg are under more pressure than ever to adapt to new conditions in wake of COVID-19 and provide services to those who may not have needed them before — or now need them in more intensive ways.From food banks to homeless shelters to direct fundraising efforts, The Citizen has compiled a list of various organizations and businesses in Harrisonburg in need of extra support.
Food service employees have been hit hard by the effects of COVID-19. Now that dining rooms in Harrisonburg are shut down, restaurants have been closing or transitioning to curbside pickup and delivery. Even employees of establishments that are still open have suffered via reduced hours or tips. In a system where most servers are paid less than minimum wage, the lack of customers — and, subsequently, tips — has led to uncertainty about the future among service workers who spoke with The Citizen.
College students at Harrisonburg’s universities are increasingly seeking out help from counseling centers — part of a nationwide trend of colleges trying to keep up with mental health issues among this generation of students. That has forced JMU and EMU’s counseling centers to get creative in order to serve every student that comes through their doors.
Phillip Newborn hasn’t had an easy life. He grew up in a home that grew marijuana and made whiskey — both things his parents, and eventually he, abused. He fractured his spine in three places in a tractor-trailer accident and recently suffered a heart attack.