By Jim Bell, CEO, Siloam Mission
I hope you and your family are safe. I hope you’re healthy. And I hope it stays that way for you.
At this time of great concern for us all, please be assured that you remain in our prayers.
I know that everyone’s inboxes are inundated with information about how organizations are coping with the COVID-19 situation. We also have some vital information to share with you:
First, it is with great disappointment that we have made the decision to cancel our premier fundraising event of the year, the Food Fight.
For those who have already purchased tickets, we will be in touch with you to arrange a refund. However, if you can help — and want to help — you can also donate your ticket to help Siloam Mission. One hundred per cent of your ticket purchase will be tax-deductible.
And for all who were looking forward to joining us at the second annual event, we hope to see you next year when the event returns.
But of course, there is much more we have to be concerned about surrounding COVID-19.
The hundreds of volunteers we rely on every week have been asked to stay home, as our population is highly vulnerable. You can imagine this has placed a great strain on our staff and resources. But it’s all hands-on-deck as we band together during trying times. We will invite our volunteers back as soon as we can.
In the meantime, we are still accepting donations, and in many ways the need is greater than ever.
Thankfully we are able to keep our donation centre open at 309 Logan Avenue, in a separate building from our vulnerable community. Donations are gratefully accepted, especially hygiene items, unopened cold medications and medical items, and of course, financial gifts. For directions and hours, click here.
I want to assure you that your donations are hard at work, preventing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting the vulnerable men and women in our drop-in centre and shelter.
* Our drop-in centre is now closing between mealtimes every day, being disinfected thoroughly from top to bottom.
* Those who have nowhere else to go are able to remain inside while we thoroughly clean all of the facilities.
* We are paying special attention to the health of every individual in our Drop In and Emergency Shelter, where our community is the most vulnerable.
* We are closely working with the city, the province, other shelters and social service agencies in order to mitigate as much risk as possible for the community we serve.
* Our on-site health centre is focusing on educating our guests on how to avoid the spread of the virus. We’re also coordinating with the WHRA to make sure we can handle any potential cases as soon as we identify them.
We are facing an unprecedented reality.
We are cancelling all fundraising events, supporter tours, donor meetings and school presentations. Our income will be affected.
I will be honest here: I don’t know what the next few months hold for us. But I do know that come what may, we must continue to help our city’s men and women facing homelessness.
Thank you for everything you do. I’m praying for you and your family. May you stay safe and healthy. And may God bless you.