The Bad…. A tough couple of years
Wow! Tough couple years… 2022 continues to be a whirlwind as Unity Project itself remains without a home of its own, sheltering at a hotel along with those we continue to serve.
In January, we experienced a COVID outbreak at our emergency shelter. Everyone emerged safe and sound only to learn in February that the provincial funding supporting our participants and their pets in the hotel would expire March 31st. We have been working tirelessly to assemble the funds to self-manage the significant additional costs while navigating our way through a 6th wave.
Poverty and homelessness continues to grow in our community. We were in a crisis before the pandemic, now escalated through rising rents, evictions and renovictions, and increased cost of living – with stagnant social assistance rates punishing the poorest.
The Bright Spots… some good news
There’s some good news… The City of London provided funding for another couple months in the hotel and is considering options for support in the year ahead. As of April 1st, our expanded mandate to prioritize people with health issues, couples, and people with pets continues, without reference or criteria particular to COVID vulnerability. Participant intake continues to be managed through Coordinated Access.
Participants continue to benefit from the full suite of COVID protocols for congregate settings including physical distancing in private rooms, screening, monitoring, isolation as required, and use of all PPE.
Most importantly, despite these challenges, there is no pause in our housing-outcome focus throughout our shelter, supportive housing and housing stability programming. Participants continue to engage in their housing support plans, to obtain housing and to maintain stability with tailored supports.