NEW YORK — When COVID-19 spread across New York, Paul Stroud took it upon himself to make sure some of the most vulnerable members of the ADAPT Community Network he serves still get the assistance they needed.
Stroud is the assistant director of Program Services for ADAPT. He’s been a staff member since 2007 and said the people he serves at ADAPT are like family.
Stroud is responsible for building community connections and opportunities for people supported by ADAPT, like organizing volunteer efforts. But the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing rules forced ADAPT to temporarily suspend many of their programs.
“Being that our program was suspended,” explained Stroud, “looking within myself, the essential needs that I would need for my family, and understanding…our supporters don’t have the ability to get out and get those essential needs.”
So Stroud volunteered to deliver supplies from local food pantries to individuals ADAPT supports.
“Whatever little bit I can do to…help, that’s what I do,” he said.
“Paul’s being modest,” said Dahilan Porter, the senior vice president of Program Services at ADAPT, and Stroud’s supervisor.
“That’s who he is. He doesn’t want the fame or glory, he just wants to make sure he does the right thing,” he said.
Porter said Stroud has focused his efforts on ADAPT community members who live alone and families struggling with loved ones who are home-bound.
“That’s the groups that really are the biggest challenge and biggest concern for us because we don’t have an eye on them,” explained Porter. “We’ve been doing a lot of knocking on doors, and Paul’s that person, or one of the people, that’s really gone above and beyond, especially with our community folks, just making sure they’re safe and have all the essentials that they need.”
When asked if he gets nervous about going out across the city and being around people, Stroud said of course, because he’s also worried about the safety and health of his family, “but you know, I just follow the precautions and try to…be safe.”
With the duration of the lock-down unclear, Stroud said he plans to continue helping as long as he can, doing his part to help his ADAPT family during the coronavirus crisis.
“It’s just a little thing” said Stroud, “the medical professionals, the nurses, the doctors… those are the real heroes.”
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