30 people with disabilities employed by Versability Resources loaded the U.S. Navy Ship Comfort with enough meals to feed its thousand-plus crew members for three weeks. These efforts were in preparation for the ship’s mission to New York City in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The Comfort, which is one of two large medical vessels under the auspices of the Navy, left its home port in southeastern Virginia over the weekend, arriving in New York City today. The ship will be used as a floating hospital to alleviate the region’s overwhelmed health care system due to COVID-19.
Versability Resources, located in Hampton, Virginia, is one of 750 nonprofits in the SourceAmerica® network. This network employs more than 90,000 people with disabilities nationwide through the U.S. AbilityOne® Program. The AbilityOne Program is one of the largest sources of employment in the United States for people who are blind or have significant disabilities.
Versability CEO Kasia Grzelkowski said, "Our employees with disabilities are mission-essential and a critical part of the national response to the COVID-19 crisis. Their work to load the Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort as it prepared to depart for New York City shows that people with disabilities are on the frontline of this effort. The military is depending on people with disabilities to support our response to this pandemic."
The Comfort will not treat COVID-19 patients, but instead will provide care for those who need emergency surgeries, trauma care and more in order to reduce the strain being put on the health care system in New York City and its surrounding communities. The 30 professionals with disabilities who provisioned the Comfort at Naval Station Norfolk are part of the nation’s ongoing emergency response to the pandemic.
"Professionals with disabilities who are part of the COVID-19 response are providing critical support to our nation's most essential functions - like the work they have done on the Comfort," said SourceAmerica President and CEO Vince Loose. "They are key contributors to the efforts as navigate this crisis."
SourceAmerica is committed to providing employment opportunities for people with disabilities across our nation through partners like Versability. These talented employees will continue to provide valuable contributions during the COVID-19 response and beyond.