Community Service Takes New Forms During COVID-19

How can community service requirements be completed when the community itself is shut down?

In the wake of COVID-19, Hillside’s Mary Jo Acomb and her team have found a way to help young people solve that problem while participating in the Livingston County-based Community Service program. With shelter-in-place orders now the norm throughout the nation, a new initiative is allowing youth who are involved in their local Family Court or probation systems to fulfill community-service requirements while building self-esteem and accepting responsibility for their actions.

Youth can now receive credit toward community service by doing work consistent with COVID-related safety protocols, such as researching and writing reflection essays or creating artwork on topics revolving around their reason for referral and their personal growth (see sample, right). Through Hillside’s program, credits can also be earned by completing extra household chores or helping a grandparent or neighbor, while adhering to social distancing mandates.

Participants and their parents have reacted positively to this innovation that has adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic, and made an already impactful program even more of a benefit to the community.

Many Hillside programs depend in part on strong support from our community. Support Hillside today.