March 18, 2020

Ottawa Mission COVID-19 Statement to the Community

As the COVID-19 situation unfolds in Ottawa, the Ottawa Mission is working closely with Ottawa Public Health, Ottawa Inner City Health and our partner emergency shelters to ensure the health and safety of everyone who interacts with our organization. We are in continual contact to ensure we have the most current information and can adjust our operations accordingly as the situation unfolds.

We are continuing to support and care for the most vulnerable members of our community and we will not close our doors or stop accepting new clients who need our continuing support and care. The wellbeing of our clients and shelter guests, community members who rely on us, volunteers, partners who help provide our many essential services, and our employees who provide exceptional support to those who need it remains our top priority.

All our regular activities have been reviewed in detail and modified to minimize the risk of infection while maintaining essential services for our clients. The health of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness is often compromised which may leave them more vulnerable to COVID-19. Given this reality, we are adjusting our operating procedures to ensure that the risk to our shelter guests and other populations remains as low as possible. Strict protocols are in place to identify possible cases of COVID-19 should they be present. We have taken appropriate measures for assessment, testing, and care in the event of a possible case of COVID-19.

We have increased and enhanced our cleaning procedures, and have disseminated information provided by Ottawa Public Health to our staff, clients, residents, volunteers, and community partners so that they are aware of both the symptoms associated with COVID-19, and best practices to minimize its spread, including regular handwashing and social distancing.

We are continuing to do our part to ensure community health and safety. We are working closely together to maintain services to our clients while ensuring strict cleanliness and disinfection practices, as well as the need to identify possible cases and reporting them to Ottawa Public Health.

In this difficult time for organizations serving the most vulnerable in our community, monetary donations are the best way to support our work. If you wish to make a donation, you can do so here. Due to the rapidly changing nature of COVID-19 and the vulnerable population that we support, we are not accepting in-kind donation drop-offs or visitors until further notice.

In January, Ottawa city council declared an emergency situation regarding homelessness with unprecedented numbers of people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. We will do everything in our power to meet their needs as we work our way through this.

We will continue to provide timely updates through our website and social media channels. We appreciate your understanding as we continue to work diligently to ensure the continued safety of our clients and all those who need our support.

On behalf of our guests and the staff at The Ottawa Mission, please accept our thoughts and prayers for you and your loved ones.  We remain deeply grateful for your continuing support.

Peter Tilley

CEO, Ottawa Mission