March 20, 2020

Community Update Re: COVID-19

On Tuesday, March 10, the Calgary Drop-In Centre assembled an internal task force and began its preparedness planning for COVID-19. We have followed the City’s direction and have been using an abundance of precaution while strategically responding to this situation – and adjusting as we learn.

Currently, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the emergency shelter. Given our shelter environment, we know that prevention is our most effective tool at managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key Operational Changes to Date:

  • We have increased our cleaning schedule prioritizing high risk areas
  • We have closed non-essential programs and services to decrease the amount of people in our buildings and repurpose staff to priority services
  • We have cancelled all external volunteer programming for all opportunities, including our three meal services per day
  • We have adjusted our donation program and have acquired C Can containers to quarantine donations for 14 days before they’re in circulation
  • We have put hand-washing stations throughout the building thanks to a generous donation from Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC)
  • We have a designated observation wing for clients with suspected symptoms of COVID-19 until Community Paramedics can come to shelter to make an assessment and determine next steps
  • We are working within the DI, the system of care and all levels of government to:
      • Find additional space for meal service and our daytime drop-in area so clients can have social distance
      • Acquire more shelter spaces in the city
      • Triage and screen clients before building entry
      • Create an offsite isolation space for clients with COVID-19
      • Hire additional front-line and custodial staff

DI Client Population

  • In the last 10 days, we have seen an average of 793 people sleeping in the shelter every day, including 631 at night and 162 in the day
  • In the last 10 days, we’ve been serving an additional 100-150 plates each meal service
  • In the last 10 days, we have reversed 18 overdoses

DI Staff

  • We applaud our staff who are committed to the city’s most vulnerable people, this is not easy work
  • We have updated our human resource policies to support immune-compromised staff, parents and people who are required to self-isolate for 14-days
  • We have experienced a large influx in staff who are required to self-isolate due to travel, all cold/flu symptoms, and childcare
  • So far, we have not reached critically low staffing levels with thanks to the tremendous effort made our crew leaders, Human Resources department and committed staff

Our Current Needs:

Click here for a downloadable version of our March 20 statement.