March 27 2020 Update on COVID-19 for the Fountain House Community

Posted on March 27, 2020

Fountain House continues to monitor the status of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic so we can share vital information with our community and will continue to do so over the coming weeks and months. We understand that this crisis strikes directly at the heart of our model that is built on social connection, but we have had to make difficult decisions quickly to protect the health and safety of our members, staff, partners and supporters, as well as the wider NYC community.

Important Updates on Fountain House Programs and Services:


  • As of Friday, March 20,  the physical clubhouse was temporarily closed and we have transitioned to supporting members through the virtual clubhouse.

Virtual Clubhouse (Beta)

  • As of Wednesday, March 25, we have launched the virtual clubhouse.  Please reference this page to get started or call: 917-727-0762 for more information.
    • Fountain House is using a suite of online tools and services to connect digitally and mimic the physical clubhouse experience. This is known as “Virtual Clubhouse (Beta).”  Over the following weeks, Fountain House will be launching the interactive version of “Virtual Clubhouse 1.0.”, but in the meantime, we encourage you to start testing out our current virtual network of Zoom, Slack and Facebook accounts. 

Changes to meal delivery services

  • Meal delivery services are open to members in quarantine, those who are symptomatic, or in otherwise vulnerable situations. If you do not fall into these categories but still require assistance, Fountain House will do our best to support or connect you with appropriate services. If you are interested in meal delivery, contact your unit worker or call 212-582-0340.  

Continuing Member Supports 

  • Meds, Money and Mail deliveries can be coordinated through Samene Reid or your unit worker. Call 212-582-0340.  
  • The new Warm-line number is 917-795-8309. Calls made to the old warmline number will be forwarded to the new one.​ Please note that the Warm-line is not available Monday thru Friday between 9am and 5pm. Please call the main line during these times to connect with your unit.
  • The Sunday Tax Preparation at Fountain House will be postponed. The Community Tax people will extend hours and find more volunteers when they return to complete member taxes. Please note the tax filing date is now July 15, 2020. 
  • In addition to these Fountain House Pink Sheets, Fountain House will be producing accurate and up-to-date information about the virus, and precautions for the Fountain House Community. Info will be distributed in residences, as well as mailed to members. They will be available digitally via Slack, the Fountain House website and social media platforms, the FH Community Facebook group, and as we develop other services. 

Important Info on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) 

Our best line of defense to stop the rapid spread of COVID-19 is social distancing and

maintaining vigilant hygiene practices.

  • Maintain at least a 6-foot distance between yourself and others outside of your Household.
  • Stay at home as much as possible. Minimize contact with people outside of the immediate members of your household, especially when traveling outside for basic needs like food and medicine. Make sure to practice good hygiene before you leave your home, and when you return.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds on all sides, or use an alcohol-based (minimum 70% alcohol) hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue, cloth or sleeve when sneezing or coughing—do not use your hands.
  • Do not touch your face or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Do not share food, drink or eating utensils with others.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched items and surfaces, such as phones, computers, bathrooms and doorknobs.
  • If you are a smoker, stop using or limit cigarettes and vaping. If you need help quitting, individuals can call the New York State Smokers Quitline at 866-NY-QUITS (866-697-8487).
  • Besides these steps, it is important to maintain healthy eating, exercise, and previously necessary medical support. If you need support accessing food and medications, please contact your worker and we will arrange for assistance. 

If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 or are asked to self-quarantine, there is a guide attached to this letter.

For the most up-to-date resources, information and guidance on the coronavirus epidemic, please consult the following resources:

Lastly, please beware of predatory practices. If strangers come to your door claiming to provide COVID-19 tests, claiming they are from the CDC or any other COVID-19 related services, do not interact with them.  Scammers are also making unsolicited calls to set up testing - this is NOT an official means of setting up testing. Please contact your Doctor or Urgent Care to set up testing.




Ashwin Vasan, M.D., PhD

President and CEO, Fountain House

Assistant Professor, Mailman School of Public Health and Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons at Columbia University


Ralph Aquila, M.D.

Medical Director and Director of the Center for Leadership and Education, Fountain House

Director, HRH/Brightpoint Health Sidney R. Baer Jr. Center


Craig Bayer

Member, Fountain House


Bianca Ortiz

Member, Fountain House


Self-Quarantine Member Support

  • Fountain House is committed to providing much-needed support to members who are quarantined during the COVID-19 outbreak. Fountain House knows that quarantines will be especially difficult for our members.
  • Staff/members will engage in assertive reach-out and have up-to-date information on the COVID-19 protocols for at-risk members. Coordinated by the Units & Silver Center.
  • We will have a virtual community using WebEx during normal programming hours for people to communicate and receive supports. Supported and coordinated by the Media & Technology Center.
  • We will support meal delivery services for members from the Culinary Unit to ensure proper nutrition and to support the quarantine. ERC will coordinate with Jack Rabbit and the Culinary Unit.
  • Members without technological access to WebEx will be able to borrow Cricket phones to access the clubhouse during the period of their quarantine. Coordinated by Media & Technology Center.
  • Reach Out notes on Self Quarantined members will be reviewed by the Program Director to determine if they may return or if there is a need for greater medical intervention and support.
  • Self-quarantined members will have access to greater warm-line services even after hours. This will be coordinated by Residential staff.
  • Self-Quarantined members will also receive a cleaning kit with easy to follow instructions. This will be coordinated by Home & Garden (and delivered via Jack Rabbit).
  • Fountain House will create a Clinical Support Team to provide emergency counseling and prescription medication support for those in Quarantine. This will be coordinated by Dr. Ralph Aquila.

Self-Quarantined members will receive a list of supports available for the duration of their quarantine.


Awards + Recognition

BBB Accredited Charity

Our Global Partners

World Health Organization

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