May 1, 2020
From Kapri Rabin, Executive Director
As we look forward to welcoming spring and have settled into a new “normal”, I want to thank our staff, board and supporters for the ways you have demonstrated concern for those who are homeless since COVID-19 began. As this situation continues to evolve, we recognize the tremendous contributions made by all frontline workers and acknowledge how communities are stepping up to help during these difficult times.
At Street Health we are continuing to see large numbers of clients, 100 to 150 people daily – both familiar and new faces. These individuals require access to current information, harm reduction supplies, personal hygiene supplies and essential healthcare services. We have adapted how we are providing nursing, mental health, identification and our Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) to promote safety and continuing health for our clients and staff. As the flattening trend continues and we are able to take next steps, Street Health’s outreach team is starting to re-engage with those who are experiencing isolation and marginalization. We need to ensure no one is left behind and outreach workers are an essential part of this effort.
Many Street Health supporters have come forward to make this possible. We are grateful for the thoughtful and generous ways people are contributing to allow our continuing operation. For example donors who have made a first ever gift to Street Health, or have provided emergency COVID -19 funds that have been so essential to creating and maintaining an appropriate work environment. Individuals who have engaged their networks to secure essential personal protection equipment or used their talents to offer client supplies. Your generosity has been put to good use and has ensured that no client is turned away.
Advocacy continues to be a vital part of Street Health’s staff efforts. This week we marked the 2020 National Day of Action on the Overdose Crisis (#WeStillGrieve2020, #SupplyOrWeDie). Both the Overdose Crisis and COVID-19 show us how now, more than ever, our efforts must be directed to ensuring health and well being in our communities.