The 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic has changed life for all of us in many new and unsettling ways. At Mission Services of London, we are committed to serving those in our community who are experiencing – or at risk of – homelessness, mental illness, addiction and poverty through this crisis.
As the pandemic continues to progress, what our service looks like will no doubt continue to evolve to comply with health guidelines. At this time, we are taking steps to protect clients, staff, and volunteers which include (but are not limited to):
- Implementing strict hygiene standards:
- Increasing the frequency of cleaning routines in our facilities, including recruitment of additional housekeeping staff
- Increasing our supply of cleaning products and other basics
- Increasing the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like surgical masks and gloves to protect staff and clients from illness as we continue to provide essential services (e.g. safe emergency shelter, meals and more)
- Implementing physical distancing measures:
- Implementing options for client isolation in collaboration with City of London and Middlesex-London Health Unit
- In conjunction with the City of London and Middlesex-London Health Unit, we are responding to the need for physical distancing in our emergency shelters by providing off-site hotel options to some of our clients; some clients remain in our shelter space while others are in hotels in order to comply with the recommended physical distance guidelines. We continue to provide support to our clients both inside the shelters and off-site (e.g. continued help with housing searches, help securing/maintaining stable housing outside of shelter, meal deliveries and life skills coaching)
- Implementing necessary changes to programs:
- Implementing frequent screening procedures for clients in programs at all branches
- Continuing to offer shelter diversion services to families through Rotholme Family Shelter via phone, email, and text to help them avoid homelessness/emergency shelter
We are facing additional pressures in terms of needing to purchase additional PPE like surgical masks, face shields, disposable gloves and gowns, etc. There is also an increased need for staffing in housekeeping and direct client support; in addition, we depend on many gift-in-kind donations of food on a regular basis to provide meals to individuals and families in need throughout our shelters/programs. With so many food service partners shut down during the pandemic, and with supply chains under pressure, the food program needs the help of our community in order to continue providing nourishing meals to neighbours in need.
Please, join the effort to help vulnerable neighbours at this time! Consider a financial contribution to the Mission Services of London COVID-19 Urgent Response Campaign. Your financial contribution could help fund vital PPE to keep staff and clients safe; it could help fund the hire of additional houskeeping staff, or help fund the purchase of food to provide meals to hungry men, women and children. It could also help secure important supplies like:
- disposable cups, plates, bowls, and cutlery for meal deliveries
- hand sanitizer
- toilet paper
- cleaning products
- grocery store gift cards for outreach clients who are struggling to make ends meet in the community
Thank you in advance for your generosity and compassion in these trying times.