COVID-19: Working to Ensure the Safety of Our Clients
As the world grapples with the COVID-19 outbreak, we here at YWCA Hamilton want to assure you that we are taking every possible precaution to ensure the safety of our community. Our downtown facility at 75 MacNab remains closed to all but essential services staff and residents. Our teams across all department areas have shifted in-person programming to virtual services and supports to reduce isolation among our community and keep our clients engaged and active. These are challenging times however, our teams are dedicated to ensuring that we remain there for those who need us most.
In addition to implementing rigorous cleaning measures at all facilities, we’ve also augmented our screening protocols, have restricted all visitors and enhanced communication on hand-washing, personal protective equipment and respiratory health protocols.
Support Our COVID-19 Response
Currently, there are three active cases of Covid-19 within YWCA Hamilton programs. The positive cases include:
- Two children at Lisgar School resulting in closure of the Before and After School program until April 6, 2021.
- One participant attending the Pre-Apprenticeship program at Mohawk College.
No YWCA Hamilton staff have tested positive.
We are so grateful for our phenomenal YWCA Hamilton staff who have stepped up to go above and beyond to support those most vulnerable in our community. Our essential services employees continue to work at our facilities across the city 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And we are inspired by those non-essential staff who have raised their hands to be redeployed to work in areas of greater need. We are truly in this together.
Self-isolation is only possible when a person has a home in which they are able to isolate. Which means that for hundreds of women and families experiencing homelessness, isolation was not an option. YWCA Hamilton, along with our partners in the homeless-serving sector, has provided staffing support to hotels that are currently housing women and families experiencing homelessness, offering a safe space where they can isolate, reducing potential spread to the rest of the community.
We also continue to support our residents in the Transitional Living Program and Phoenix Place, as well as visitors to Carole Anne’s Place, which will remain open at least until June 2021 with extended daytime hours (10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., seven days a week). One-on-one, in person violence against women counselling will be made available where online counselling is not an option.
Our dedicated teams seek innovative ways to keep residents engaged as they isolate in their rooms, providing food and other supports while trying to keep everyone safe and healthy. Staff at Carole Anne’s Place have also implemented enhanced screening measures including temperature and wellness checks.
Our Developmental Services staff are committed to providing exceptional essential care for our residents in our residential homes across the city. For the safety of our residents, we have restricted access to our homes to essential service workers only. Our Day Programs and access to the Snoezelen Room at 75 MacNab St. South is currently on hold and our day program staff continue to bring exciting programming into our client’s homes weekly in addition to ongoing virtual programming.
Our fantastic building services staff continue to show up every day, implementing rigorous cleaning measures and doing whatever is required to keep our facilities humming, spotless and virus-free. Our dedicated front desk staff continue to cheerily answer the phones and screen anyone who requires access to the building. And many of our program staff across departments have been redeployed to support these critical areas.
If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for it, please use this self-assessment tool provided by the Government of Ontario.
YWCA Hamilton’s downtown facility at 75 MacNab is closed to the public but all essential services staff and visitors to Carole Anne’s Place are screened before being granted access to the building. Screening measures can include temperature and wellness checks.
Isolation areas throughout the downtown facility have been identified in the case that one of our residents and /or Carole Anne’s Place clients is feeling unwell.
It wasn’t our first pandemic.
In March 2020, our organization – like many others – grappled with a new challenge. Covid-19 took our country by storm and we ended our fiscal year navigating the unchartered waters of a global pandemic. But it wasn’t the first time.
We were there for the women and families during the global pandemic of 1918, providing supports and services for those in need. And we’re still here – supporting and advocating for women and communities disproportionally affected by the pandemic.
With a nimble, passionate team our pandemic response was swift.
YWCA Hamilton needs personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure we can continue delivering critical essential services on the front lines. There is a global shortage of PPE and we are asking that every Hamiltonian look inside your garages, storage closets, spare rooms, workshops, toolboxes, under the sink, and any other place you might store items you don’t often use.
Do you have any of the items listed below at your home or business?
- Disposable surgical face masks
- Medical gowns
- Medical goggles/glasses
- Hand sanitizer
- Disinfection wipes and liquids
- Homemade non-medical face masks
Do you have access to a business that might have PPE in storage? You might be sitting on a treasure trove of critical equipment and not even know it.
- Beauty salons (aestheticians)
- Hair salons
- Tattoo parlors
- Home renovation, building supplies stores
Please let us know what PPE you have available to you by clicking the button below and completing a simple form. We will then contact you to arrange pick-up or delivery.
Your donation of PPE can save lives.
We can offer charitable tax receipts for the value of your in-kind PPE donation.
Support Essential Services
Please make a donation to ensure that we can continue responding to the increased need of women and families accessing our essential services.
Now more than ever, our community needs your help.
Other Ways You Can Help
- Spread the Word – if you are not able to make a donation at this time, please help us spread the word. Share this page with your networks, share our posts on social media, tell your friends. We need PPE!
- Wash Your Hands – if you don’t feel comfortable sharing, that’s ok. Just remember to practice good handwashing hygiene!
- Take Care of Each Other- and check in on your family, friends, and isolated neighbours!
- Practice Social Distancing – and most importantly, please stay home. And when you must go out for groceries and medications, please remember to maintain a physical distance of 2 metres or more from other people.
Donate Our Most Urgently Needed Items
We’re working hard to make sure that the women, children and families that we support have what they need during this challenging time. Please consider donating a most urgently needed item or shop directly from our Amazon wish list.