COVID-19 Response

Four Phases of System Response to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting every single one of us, but nobody is feeling its effects more than marginalized children and families. To best address the needs of our entire community, KConnect identified what will be four distinct phases of this crisis. As time goes on, we will convene our partners to address the needs that arise around each of these stages of system response. 

Phase 1: Crisis Response

Focus: To ensure shelter, food, medical care/supplies, and technology to all in need.

This phase is about shifting community resources and assets to address community needs. Right now, one of the main concerns is having enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers such as childcare staff, homeless shelter staff, law enforcement and, of course, medical professionals. 

There is quite a bit of uncertainty and questions about how long this phase is going to last. What happens if medical staff, childcare workers, and other essential staff get sick at high rates? How do we identify replacement workers for those positions, if necessary? What happens to our food and other supplies if this lasts long-term? If organizations and small businesses shut down, how does that impact our community’s ability to respond? 

Phase 2: Stabilization 

Focus: Community rallying to stabilize organizations and businesses as crisis needs are met.

As the crisis passes, people are going to be unstable. The work of the community is going to be to come together to stabilize nonprofits, small businesses, service industries, and more. How does that happen? 

Phase 3: Recovery

Focus: Working to ensure that all community members recover medically and economically.

This phase is about working collaboratively to get businesses, organizations, and schools up and running while transitioning back to “normal” activities. This may include addressing debt, back rent payments, cleaning facilities, etc. 

What do we need to do to recover? How do we plan around that? How long is it going to take? 

Phase 4: Redesign

Focus: Take the lessons learned to redesign systems so that we are better prepared in the future for these types of events.

The main question is “how do we take the lessons learned to redesign systems so that we are better prepared in the future for these types of events?” 

Important Resources:

World Health Organization COVID-19 Information

Center for Disease Control – COVID-19

State of Michigan – COVID-19 Resources

Kent County Health Department – COVID-19

Michigan COVID-19 Community Response

Heart of West Michigan United Way Statewide Resources

Heart of West Michigan United Way Coronavirus Responsive Fund Grant Application 

COVID-19 and Early Childhood


General Network Email – March 13, 2020

New York Times: As Coronavirus Deepens Inequality, Inequality Worsens Its Spread

Please check this page periodically as we update it with the most up-to-date news and resources.