By Julia Kaisla, Executive Director
Throughout these last couple of months, we have worked hard to ensure the safety of our residents at our residential mental health homes while still showing up for the community in all of the ways you have asked of us. Thank you for your patience and your willingness to engage with us in new ways. Thank you for volunteering. Thank you for donating. And thank you for thinking of us and sending us your warmest wishes.
We have made it through this challenging time with a renewed sense of purpose and a wider perspective about some of the gaps in our health care and charitable systems. We are grateful to the various levels of government for their support. In particular we have been able to stabilize our organization thanks to the wage subsidy and the many donors and grantees that have responded to our call for support.
More than anyone, however, it’s our employee and volunteer base that have shown up for our clients, our residents and each other. Thank you to our team for coming together during this difficult time to prioritize people, connection and support. I am so excited to see how this experience will strengthen our organization, our community and our country. We are in this together, and we have this precious opportunity to lock arms and build something new that doesn’t prioritize one group over another or leave segments of the population behind.
As we gradually reopen our Lonsdale office to counselling and outreach services, we want to take a minute to explain some of the things we are doing to keep our counselling and outreach clients safe:
- Prioritized social distancing as the most effective means to reduce transmission (spaces have been reorganized and are marked out)
- Overhauled our cleaning protocols and services
- Reduced occupancy of office to 7 people (including staff and clients)
- Screening of clients
- Training of employees and engagement in the development of the plan
- Hand sanitizer stations available throughout the offices