The 519 has been deemed an essential service and our staff are working every day on the front lines to support our most vulnerable and marginalized community members. The 519 remains committed to providing ongoing support, resources, and services to our LGBTQ2S communities and our local neighbourhood through the COVID-19 public health crisis.
Our critical and much-needed community-based response to COVID-19 is unfunded.
While our building is closed to the public, we have expanded our meal programs to 7 days a week, preparing and distributing hot meals twice daily Monday to Friday, and once daily on Saturday and Sundays.
In addition, our staff are reaching out daily to community members via the phone and email through our Friendly Check-In program, so we can reduce social isolation and provide referrals and a friendly voice to those who are unable to leave their homes. We are also providing daily updates via social media and our website of key developments, news, and resources for community members.
We are so proud of our staff who have, since March 15:
• Prepared and served 1,432 take-away meals to community members
• Completed 66 Community Check-Ins
• Made 69 referrals during community check-Ins
• Distributed clothing to 70 community members
• Handed out 70 toiletries kits
• Handed out 11 safer sex supplies kits
• Handed out 159 Tim Horton's gift cards
Spurred by the need to respond to this crisis, we've had to redeploy our staff, adapt to daily and hourly challenges, and accelerate and multiply our efforts to support our community members. This means that we have had to close Fabarnak, cease our Education & Training workshops, and suspend our catering business.