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How we’re responding to COVID-19

Posted on April 3, 2020 in Current News

One thing has been become clear. We’re all in this together.

YES is working closely with Peterborough Public Health and the City of Peterborough to ensure youth and families experiencing homelessness are being supported through this crisis. Here’s what that looks like right now:

Families in the emergency shelter

All families and pregnant young people have been moved from the emergency shelter at 196 Brock to hotels in Peterborough. This allows them the space necessary for physical distancing and a more secure place for the children during the pandemic. Three meals/day are being delivered to these families by the City of Peterborough in partnership with the Salvation Army Peterborough.

YES Outreach Staff and Fourcast visit the hotel locations every day to touch base with each of the families and ensure their well being. We are also working as quickly as possible to find permanent housing for these families, and moved at least one family into permanent housing last week (!!!).

Youth in emergency shelter

Shelter staff are working to support youth 24 hours/day and 7 days/week through COVID-19

Because we have been able to move the families to hotels, each of the young people at our emergency shelter now have their own room. This is to aid in the safe operation of the shelter during the pandemic. Shelter staff are preparing three meals/day + snacks for youth staying at the shelter, and Outreach Workers from YES are frequently in touch with youth as needed.

Youth living in the community

Outreach Workers at YES are also assisting youth living in the community who have recently stayed at the shelter, are living in our RISE Youth Housing Program, or are living in a situation that is unstable. YES workers have been in touch with all of the people we know could need help over the coming months and are helping them prepare. We will continuously supply food, and hygiene products to our clients as they need them.

Example of a supplies box care kit we might give a young mom living on her own, without a way to prepare for physical distancing

YES Outreach Staff have gone over a pandemic preparedness plan with youth in the community to ensure they have a good idea of what the next few months will be like. We will stay in touch with these young people to ensure they are doing ok and connect them with available supports, as needed, over the coming months.

Things we need:

Some of the food and supply donations that we have already been distributing to 120 youth in the community.

Monetary donations. Donating money enables us to meet our immediate need, whatever that may be, so is always the best way to help.

YES’ budget is tight; we rely a great deal on the community to support our help for youth and families. This means that covering all of the unforeseen expenses related to COVID-19 is tough. Right now, your contribution will help us maintain a safe place for youth to be throughout the pandemic. And ensure we remain a reliable, responsive option for youth and families who need us now more than ever.

Items on our wish-list. We are attempting to make sure youth in the emergency shelter and our clients living in the community are prepared to self-isolate should the need arise. This means acquiring and distributing much more food than ever before. When you purchase and drop off items from our wish list, you help us stock up the shelter and our vulnerable youth and families in the community.

We don’t know how long this will last, but we know we are the only support some of these young people have, and we have to come through for them if they need us. You can help us do that by giving to YES today.