Distress Centre Calgary has provided 24 hour crisis support to our community for 50 years. We have responded to over 2.5 million calls, emails, chats, texts and counselling requests since we opened our doors on April 14, 1970. And we want to be here for Calgarians during this unprecedented global crisis...
On March 17th, for the safety of our staff and volunteers, we closed our doors to visitors. Within a week, we mobilized 80 staff to provide 24 hour crisis support to our community remotely from home. Since 1970, volunteers have been the heart and soul of our agency and last year alone volunteers spent 44,763 hours in our contact centre supporting Calgarians in crisis. But the COVID-19 epidemic has forced Distress Centre to use only staff during this turbulent time.
Like so many other organizations, we don’t know how long it will be before we can open our office again. If we’re able to return to our office by May 31, this puts Distress Centre at a significant financial disadvantage. The cost of doing business without our contact centre over the course of 76 days is upwards of $300,000. This pandemic was unexpected, and the cost of Distress Centre’s emergency operations is not in our 2020 annual budget. The people of Calgary are in crisis. Calgarians need to know that they have a place to turn 24 hours a day during this incredibly difficult and uncertain time. The social service agencies that rely on Distress Centre to support their clients after hours need our services now more than ever.
We need your gift today so that we can be there for the community through this crisis and for the next 50 years. Please donate now. We are stronger together, and we will get through this crisis together. Thank you for your support.
Here's how the pandemic is impacting our services:
• COVID-19 is now the top issue on Distress Centre’s crisis and 211 contacts
• COVID-19 related contacts on 211 overtook COVID-19 related contacts on Crisis
• Feelings of anxiety, depression and isolation/loneliness are the top three concerns associated with COVID-19 on Crisis
• Employment Insurance, Information Lines and Undesignated Temporary Financial Assistance for rent, utilities or damage deposits were the top needs on 211
• 94% of our service users have been more likely to discuss COVID-19 on crisis phone contacts compared to email, chats and texts Note: Contacts are defined as phone, email, chat and text for youth