Thanks so much to our local partner organizations and governments at all levels, regionally, provincially, and federally. So many individuals and organizations are stepping up to help wherever they can during the COVID-19 pandemic. Amidst all the exceptional demands and challenges we’re facing, we are so fortunate to live here in Ontario, Canada.
We are working with all of partners to take care of those in need in our community. It is a unique and unprecedented time for everyone. Just one month ago, we gathered with our volunteer Community Advisory Council members, staff, and local citizens concerned about homelessness in our region, and here we are today. Yes, even with government support and working collaboratively with other service providers, additional resources are always helpful especially in times of emergency.
If you follow us on our social media pages, you might have seen a couple of great posts from the team at Belinda’s Place. They shared how one generous community member went out of their way to find and donate much needed items to help keep clients and staff safe and healthy. And mattresses were donated by two different companies to help transitioning clients when they find their own homes. Amazing!
If you’re wondering how to help too, first and foremost, stay healthy and practice physical distancing. Keep in touch with friends and family via phone, video (e.g. Zoom, Skype, or Facetime), not just social media. Limit your news watching to once or twice a day and focus on creating a schedule for yourself and your family that will keep your spirits up. Read a new book or learn a new skill.
Should you have the means and/or time, here are a few other areas where you could really make a difference: small regular donations to our local foodbanks and/or our York Region emergency shelters and services to help those who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. We hope in the near future to have more customized tabs on our Donate page above, however, for now, whether you click on Support Belinda’s Place or Support Sutton Youth Services, rest assured that your donation will reach us quickly and assist us in helping more of those in need in our region. (Quick tip: Once on the secure donation page of your choice, refresh your browser first, then proceed and fill in according to your preferences). Also, please know that 100% of funds donated will remain local and go directly to client support and services.
Although it’s hard to say what the coming weeks will hold, it is our goal to create video material outlining the comprehensive Housing First Community Program Theresa McLeod-Treadwell, our Program Services Director, presented at our March 4, 2020 meeting in Georgina. In addition to getting more of this information on our website too, we will be hosting video meetings to keep in touch with our Community Advisory Council members as well as interested groups, churches, and individuals who are keen about supporting the important work of The Salvation Army York Housing and Support Services and the Housing First Community Program.
While you’re on our website, we invite you to peruse a few of our other articles to gain more insights into our work, and perhaps a little inspiration to consider joining our council and/or supporting our efforts wherever you may be called to do so.
- The Salvation Army YHSS Extends Helping Hand and Heart
- Community Helping Community
- A Senior’s Success Story
- Volunteering in York Region with The Salvation Army YHSS
Of course, some of the event dates in the above blog posts have since passed and our approach will be different for a while, as far as how we connect and engage with one another, however, the need and the work is still very much the same. In fact, it’s more critical than ever. (Apologies that a few of our individual links in our first post above are not being directed correctly. We seem to have a glitch and we’re hoping to rectify it a.s.a.p.)
We pray that you, your family, and friends remain well and safe during and far beyond these uncertain times.
With warmest regards and blessings,
2017-2020 Chair, The Salvation Army YHSS Community Advisory Council
On behalf of The Salvation Army YHSS Staff and Volunteers
Serving Belinda’s Place, Sutton Youth Services, and Durham Housing Retention … A Safe Place for New Beginnings