April 2, 2020
Weekly Community Update Re: COVID-19
This month is one for the record books. From the resilient effort on our front line to new team members’ willingness to jump right in, and all the work that goes on behind-the-scenes to foster planning and community collaboration – the work we’ve done this month is nothing short of miraculous. I extend a heartfelt thank you to all of our friends and partners for their continued support to the DI.
Our Current Needs:
- All Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including surgical masks, gloves, and gowns, learn more at calgarydropin.ca/continuedsupport
- Low-risk foods (e.g. granola bars, canned tuna, fruit cups), learn more at calgarydropin.ca/continuedsupport
- Staff – we are urgently recruiting Licensed Practical Nurses, front-line workers, security, maintenance, and custodial staff, apply online at calgarydropin.ca/careers
- Medical Volunteers – we are recruiting medical volunteers to assist with secondary screening at our shelters, please visit calgarydropin.ca/covid19-health-services
*New* April 2, 2020 Updates
- Currently, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among clients or staff.
- We have partnered with Calgary TELUS Convention Centre (CTCC) and as of today, we have opened our second satellite shelter funded by the Government of Alberta.
- This space will shelter up to 300 people and allow us to reduce our main shelter capacity by 50%.
- Food, showers, and bathrooms will also be provided.
- We are experiencing an increase in overdoses – a total of 47 in March compared to 11 in February. We suspect this may continue during this challenging time as people turn to various coping mechanisms.
March 26, 2020 Updates
- We have opened our 24/7 satellite shelter for 56 people, and we have helped 21 people move into this space as of March 26.
- We’ve begun screening clients for symptoms before they enter the building at our front gate, this is another preventative measure to make sure we don’t have an outbreak in the shelter. This is why our gate is currently closed. Thank you to Safeworks, CUPS, Alberta Health Services and the several volunteer medical professionals who have stepped up to support us.
- We have limited our drop-in and meal service program to people who sleep at the emergency shelter only. We’ve been told there will be other meal programs established to address food insecurity, but we must reduce our shelter numbers in order to address social distancing.
- We are continuing to find more ways to reduce the number of people inside our main shelter.
March 20, 2020 Updates
- 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 external volunteer programming for all opportunities, with the exception of medical volunteers which we are actively recruiting
- 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 medical professionals can come in to make an assessment and determine next steps.