Frontline Support Services: 519-433-8700 x0

COVID 19 Updates  

September 2020

If you need support

If you require emergency shelter or are facing eviction, please contact: 

City of London – Homeless Prevention Team

519-661-CITY (2489)   ext. 1852
homelessprevention@london.ca 

If you are in crisis please contact:  

Canadian Mental Health Association – 24/7 Crisis Response Line 

519-433-2023 or 1-866-933-2023 


For more related information and links to resources and supports, please visit  

https://www.london.ca/residents/homeless-prevention/Pages/Homelessness—Resources.aspx  


Overview

The COVID-19 pandemic unsettled life for all of us. It heightens and further exposes the failures in our system with the worst effects falling unequally on the marginalized and vulnerable.  It is also bringing us together in a greater collective effort as we seek to manage this crisis. 

Individuals currently experiencing or at risk of homelessness are particularly vulnerable during a pandemic. Lacking permanent housing means that these individuals cannot effectively self-isolate. They are exposed to increased risk every day and lack access to infrastructure and supply to maintain their health and mitigate risk. Many have compromised health conditions which put them under even greater risk to suffer the worst effects of the virus. The fear and uncertainty we are all feeling affects this community ten-fold. 

To date, COVID has been kept at bay from the homeless population with thanks to a coordinated and strategic system response involving all levels of government, and particularly the City of London, Middlesex London Health Unit and all manner of homeless serving agencies. 

As our community returns to normal, so does the return of risk and our vigilance and pandemic protocols remain in full force as we continue to provide shelter and support for people experiencing homelessness in context of an evolving crisis management strategy within the City of London.  


Where we are at

Unity Project shifted operations to a hotel once our Old East Village shelter facility proved inadequate for safe conduct of our services in a pandemic. There, we have doubled our typical occupancy, managing private rooms that allow for adequate social distancing, and prioritize seniors and those with health conditions which make them most vulnerable to the worst effects of the virus. Intake is centralized, handled by City of London. 

We ceased drop-in supports, volunteers, and in-kind donations. We constantly reconfigured policy and procedures in response to inadequate PPE supply, private rooms, addictions, mental health, screening and isolation protocols, food management, and all new threats, developing information, and system responses. 

We have adapted to the new routine. We have eased back into case-management and continue providing housing stability supports. Participants remain safe at our supportive housing. PPE supply is stable for time being.  

Alas, we will not be engaging volunteers or accepting in-kind donations for quite some time.  

We dwell in an uncertain future, and in hotel until at least December, while strategizing with City and community partners for ongoing relief and our role within a robust homeless prevention system. 


How you can help

With your help we will persevere. Financial donations are needed most.  

Financial donations allow us to purchase exactly what we need, when we need it, and to utilize the safest delivery methods possible.  

You can make a one-time gift or set up monthly giving online, by phone or by chequeYou can make gifts of securities or host a virtual fundraiser for us on facebook. 

We request that our Santa Sack donors re-direct their in-kindness to financial giving to ensure a joyful Christmas for our participants. To approximate the tangiblegiving experience, we are in process of creating a “virtual store” where you can select and “purchase a donation” of the exact practical, fun and luxury items you want to contribute to the Unity Project Santa Sacks. Resources and supports will help you configure and host a virtual Santa Sack collection within your network and among your family, friends, congregation, or workplace. 

Please Visit  www.unityproject.ca/donate 

For more info please contact Silvia Langer at slanger@unityproject.ca or call 519.433.8700 

Note: you can donate used items to The Mission Store and/or Habitat for Humanity with whom we have a voucher system arrangement for participants’ access. Please check the charity’s website to learn drop-off/delivery protocols and to ensure your donation is acceptable. 


Follow our social channels

Stay virtually close as a community.  

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and bookmark our website. 

Your likes, loves, shares and comments let us know that you are well and with us. 

You take care.