House of Charity’s Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic

With your support House of Charity has helped countless numbers of people experiencing homeless and hunger. We are currently facing our biggest challenge yet and wanted to update you about what we are doing and how you can help us in the days ahead.
The Covid-19 Pandemic has changed the way we do everything and has caused our costs to skyrocket. As I’m sure you know, we are continuing to operate throughout this pandemic. Every day, our operations are changing.

Here is a summary of the changes:
• The Food Centre has switched to boxed meals for our residents and the public lunch.
• We are now providing our case-management services for our supportive housing through remote tools including telephone and video calls.
• Our addiction treatment services are transitioning to all tele-medicine using HIPAA compliant voice and video calls.
• Our dormitory rooming has been modified to ensure safety for our staff and clients. All residents are sleeping with their heads six feet apart as recommended for decreased disease transmission.
• In addition, we are forced to decrease our occupancy allowing for the availability of single rooms for anyone who is sent back to us to quarantine due to exposure to Covid-19. Anyone in a quarantined status will receive their food delivered to their room.
• The public shower is still open but people must wait outside and are being asked to help with cleaning in between showers.
• Cleaning and the use of protective equipment in all programs has been intensified as much as possible. Residents have more access to their own cleaning kits on each floor.
• In addition, we are working very hard to care for our own staff. Those that can are working from home. People who cannot are receiving hazard pay, additional sick time, and other supports.

Because of the crisis, we are asking our staff to do more at a time of tremendous economic uncertainty. We are doing everything in our ability to keep our residents, diners and staff safe. In doing so we are experiencing decreased program-earned revenue and increases in cost. Lower occupancy and a reliance on remote services means a rapid decrease in revenue.
We are also experiencing a sharp immediate increase in expenses which includes masks for our front desk and maintenance staff along with other protective gear. In the food service area, we have had to purchase all the supplies necessary for boxing each meal as well as increased cleaning supplies. Additional expenses are being experienced by providing our front desk and housekeeping staff with hazard pay in order to keep them on board as they are very concerned for their own health.
We have had many people ask how they can help. The most important thing we need is your donations. If you have not already you can switch to donating online via our secure site. Going paperless is more important than ever. It will make it easier for us to process your donation and put it directly to work.
You could make it even better by starting a monthly donation. Most of the people who donate to House of Charity donate at the end of the year. We need your support all year long and especially now.
If you have questions, you can email our Development Director, Paul Verrette: p.verrette@houseofcharity.org.
Here is a link to our secure donations page where you can make a one-time or recurring donation: www.houseofcharity.org/donate

Some people are still able to volunteer in person. If you cannot here is where you can learn more ways you can volunteer from home:
• A lunch supply drive: houseofcharity.galaxydigital.com/lunch-supplies
• A coronavirus supply drive: houseofcharity.galaxydigital.com/virus-supplies

To the many of you who volunteer in the Food Centre, we miss you and can’t wait to see you again.
To those who have already stepped up with donations, thank you so much.
There is so much that you can do and we hope to hear from you soon.