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 and community based programs and services across the city are closed to all but essential services staff and residents. 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 and respiratory health protocols. Additionally, we have implemented virtual program platforms wherever possible across our many department areas to reduce isolation among our community and keep our clients engaged and active.
Support Our COVID-19 Response
YWCA Hamilton is currently managing an outbreak in Wesley Supportive Housing, one of our Developmental Services residences which is operated in partnership with Wesley Urban Ministries. Through our work with Public Health, we have expanded testing of staff and clients at Wesley Supportive Housing and we have also enhanced infection control and the usage of personal protective equipment (PPE). Staff who continue to work at the site have no symptoms, have been asked to self-monitor and we have increased our screening procedures to twice daily.
We are actively working with Public Health to ensure we are equipped with the PPE we require should the outbreak spread. Members of our staff teams have stepped up to be voluntarily redeployed to assist where support is needed most and our partners in the community and across sectors are helping us to ensure that we have the resources we need. We are also actively trying to recruit new staff and volunteers to support our essential services.
Update April 22, 2020:
- Two staff have tested positive for the virus. Both staff members are experiencing mild symptoms and are self-isolating in their respective homes.
- Four residents have tested positive for the virus and are being treated in hospital.
Update May 6, 2020:
- The outbreak at Wesley Supportive Housing is now officially over.
- Three of the residents remain in hospital and two YWCA Hamilton staff continue to self-isolate at home.
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 until the end of April. 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 phenomenal staff at our Developmental Services residences across the city continue to provide a sense of normalcy for residents in these trying times. They continue to cook, engage residents in activities, clean and try to fill the void of visitors and family while maintaining regular schedules and routines for clients who are having a difficult time adjusting to these changes
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.
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.
Isolation and hunger are huge threats to the safety and well-being of the 65 women who call YWCA Hamilton home. With limited access to food and activities, we simply need supplies to keep those who rely on us active, engaged and fed while isolating in their rooms.
We need your help.
Please consider donating:
- Canned goods
- Pasta and pasta sauces
- Peanut butter
- Prepackaged foods like granola bars, fruit cups, cheese sticks
- Ready to eat meals
- Instant noodles
- Bottled water
- Crossword puzzles
- Word searches
- Decks of cards
- DIY crafts (paint by numbers, etc)
- Colouring books
- Pencil crayons
- Beauty face masks
- Yoga mats
- Hand sanitizer
- Dish soap
- Bar soap
- Dry shampoo
- Body wipes
- Menstrual products
- Clorox wipes
- Underwear of all sizes (Small -2X)
We have implemented a safe process for accepting donations. Donations can be dropped off at YWCA Hamilton’s main entrance at 75 MacNab Street South between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Upon arrival, we ask that you use the call box to notify staff as all of our doors are locked. When a staff member answers the call box, you may share your name and purpose for visit (donation drop off). Staff will buzz you in and if the drop off is of significant volume, you may be asked to drop it off at the loading dock or alternative location in the building.
For more information, please contact Mirela Marceta at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 a Meal
Our frontline staff are working around the clock to ensure those most vulnerable in our community receive the best care possible. Want to show your gratitude for their dedication and exceptional service? Consider donating a meal to one of our staff teams working hard across our community-based locations.
Please contact Mirela Marceta at email@example.com for details.