As the pandemic situation evolves, we continue to take the necessary steps to reduce transmission risk within our sites. We are committed to ensuring our youth and staff's safety and are taking direction regarding best practices from local, provincial and federal health authorities. We are also relying on the in-house expertise of our health care team.
Our COVID-19 protocols include:
- Screening all youth and staff before they enter the building and referring them for COVID-19 testing and vaccination including booster shots as appropriate
- Regularly reminding both youth and staff to protect themselves and others by practicing physical distancing, performing good hand hygiene, avoiding touching their face and covering coughs/sneezes
- Requiring staff to use appropriate PPE, including N95 masks and shields, when they are in the presence of others, including in common areas
- Requesting that youth wear surgical masks when they are in the presence of others
- Reducing the number of youth in one space at a time by:
- Supporting youth who have moved from our crisis shelter to a hotel funded by the City of Toronto
- Providing all youth across our facilities with their own rooms
- Providing youth with virtual counselling by phone or secure video conferencing
- Staggering meal times
- Reducing seating in common areas
- Cancelling in-person group activities
- Keeping our site closed to external visitors
- Installing Plexiglas barriers throughout our facility, adding in air filtration and non-touch faucets
Meeting youth's immediate needs
Throughout the pandemic, our doors have remained open to youth experiencing homelessness and victims of sex trafficking. Our crisis shelter and transitional housing programs continue to support youth in need, in addition to our four specialized housing programs. Lengths of stay have been extended as needed to accommodate youth.
Our health care clinic and drop-in centre are also available to youth on an appointment basis, providing critical support when it’s needed most.
Supporting our youth with meaningful programming
In these uncertain times, it’s essential to create a sense of stability and normalcy for the youth we serve. To maintain this routine, critical programs and services such as our employment centre, high school, Cooking for Life program, mentorship program, and life skills training sessions remain available to youth through our expert staff's support.
Donations of in-kind items
While we greatly appreciate the generous support of donors who’ve collected goods, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the acceptance of donations of clothing and non-perishable items at this time to reduce foot traffic and exposure at our facilities.
All events and meetings are now being conducted virtually, including our signature Sleep Outs, which remain a unique and immersive experience for participants in a virtual format. To learn more about our 2021 fundraising events, click here.
Please check this page for future updates.