Date of Degree

9-2021

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

International Migration Studies

Advisor

Els de Graauw

Subject Categories

Migration Studies

Keywords

immigrant, nonprofits, organizations, remote services

Abstract

The coronavirus pandemic has presented challenges to both the public and private spheres of life. For public facing staff in nonprofit organizations, there has been a need to adapt service delivery from in-person to online services. This transition has presented benefits and challenges for participants, especially immigrants who regularly depend on nonprofits for different service needs, as well as nonprofit staff. This case study examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement, an immigrant-serving nonprofit organization in Queens, New York, and it analyzes how they addressed the transition to fully online service delivery. This organization has long served residents of western Queens, but it has been able to provide services to immigrant communities across New York City because of this transition to online service delivery. I specifically focus on the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program at Riis, and I studied their service delivery during this health pandemic by drawing on original surveys and interviews conducted with both the staff and clients of this organization. I used these mixed data sources to document their opinions about the transition to online services, as well as to learn what has and has not been working during this time. While online classes helped to keep everyone safe during the height of the pandemic and increased flexibility for student participation, it also underscored issues related to lack of tech literacy and the deleterious effects of the pandemic on clients’ daily lives, including sickness and caring for other family members. The findings of this case study highlight the benefits and pitfalls of online nonprofit services during the pandemic and provides recommendations for best practices in future remote work.

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