IBA COVID-19 Response | Serving the Community Online

IBA COVID-19 Response | Serving the Community Online

With the country in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations have had to make dramatic and sudden shifts to leverage technology to continue operations. IBA is no exception. Despite the closure of all administrative offices on Tuesday March 17th, IBA has been able to make a near seamless transition to operating virtually and has kept all of their critical programs running.

We recently sat down with Mayra Negrón-Roche, IBA’s Chief Operating Officer, and Rafael Medina, IBA’s Chief Program Officer, to learn how they’re serving the community and keeping everyone safe.

In preparation for office closures, IBA sent out a detailed technology survey to all staff to get an inventory of what technology equipment and capacity they had to support a work from home arrangement. Luckily, all staff had access to both computers and to the internet which helped make the online transition an immediate success.

"We were able to quickly change gears and work from home. It has been very effective for the organization and we made the transition with no interruption to our programs," Mayra explained.

In the time since the March 17th closure of IBA’s offices, the team has been able to put in place a host of online tools and platforms to connect with both staff and residents. To best support everyone’s social and emotional well-being, the Operations Team has made weekly check-ins a top priority.

“We make sure to check in with staff three times a week. On Monday, we have a more work-related focus, but we also use our virtual meeting time to share good news and build community. We’ve even hosted an online happy hour to stay connected as much as possible,” Mayra further detailed.

IBA’s five programs have all taken on a slightly different online form.

The Preschool Program has been able to continue serving families by providing online tools and activities that parents can do at home with their little ones. Teachers check in with families at least once a week to ensure that families have consistent communication and guidance from preschool staff.

“Our Youth Development Program is now online and we have had great success with engaging our youth. Last week, we were able to do an online graffiti lesson which seemed to be a big hit,” Rafael added.

IBA’s College and Financial Empowerment Program is offering financial coaching remotely as an increased number of families may be facing financial hardship. The Arts Program is planning a variety of online arts events, such as a live virtual concert, and is launching a social media based online arts community.

Though most of the programs are able to run solely online, IBA’s Resident Service Program has had to find creative ways to continue to support resident’s needs while pausing in-person contact.

“We made sure that all residents have phone numbers to reach our staff and we have also given them options to pay their rent online since offices are closed. Due to existing work orders and emergency requests, our maintenance and security staff have remained active and on site. They are following strict guidelines and are practicing social distancing while making sure our residents have what they need during this time,” Mayra explained.

IBA’s staff is hopeful to resume operations and open administrative offices on May 4th, after the Governor’s COVID-19 advisory lifts. Though some community facilities, such as the Technology Center, may remain closed until the coronavirus is completely contained, IBA has multiple contingency plans in place to keep the community safe.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding IBA’s COVID-19 response, please contact Mayra Negrón-Roche at