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Because of Prairie Independent Living Resource Center’s desire to protect both customers and staff, it is no longer offering in-house services, making its primary means of service available via phone.


This decision will be re-evaluated on April 19.


Other disruptions include not being able to provide durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs, shower chairs, canes and other ambulation technologies until the stay-home order issued by Gov. Laura Kelly has been lifted.


"We have a 34-county service area, and we’re really limited, as we operate out of our offices in the Ford County and Dodge City area, except through the phone," said service coordinator Phil Handsaker. "So certainly, our ability to travel out and look for consumers in southwestern Kansas, has become very limited, so they have to pretty much call and reach us."


Despite this, clients are called frequently as PILR staff checks in on them, answering questions and doing what they can to help alleviate possible growing stress and depression-symptoms, which at times, is just making sure clients are heard.


While operating from their "locked-in" status, staff continues to do research to identity resources needed to help people and inform them of new precautions during this trying time, including giving clients access to emergency help hotlines.


Handsaker says they are linking people to resources, such as food assistance, health care, disaster relief and domestic violence hotlines, and even access to information about the availability of the "economic impact" checks.


PILR will continue to do this until needs can be met, as well as provide updates and information to consumers as they receive them, from its Facebook page, Prairie Independent Living Resource Center Inc.


PILR is still able to provide ways to support locally-based people that are wanting to become more independent.


Prairie Independent Living Center, Inc. is located at 207 W. Spruce St. and applicants are encouraged to call 620-371-7690, where a quick intake will occur over the phone.