There are many people and issues that require immediate attention during these times of uncertainty. Charities have adjusted the way they operate on a daily basis and many have had to make significant shifts to fulfill their particular missions. Unfortunately, many charities may not weather this storm.
Our intention with the Charity x COVID-19 series is to share updates from a spectrum of charitable organizations to garner attention and inspire support for those in need.
Charity name: Canadian Mental Health Association North West Vancouver
Core purpose and mandate:
With you. We believe in your capacity for recovery and wholeness. We will help you build resiliency by connecting you with knowledge and community.
We serve the North and West Vancouver communities and the Sunshine Coast up to Powell River.
How is your organization impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
We have moved a lot of our programming online. This has included counselling, peer navigation, peer-led support groups, and employment services.
Our group homes have been impacted differently in that we have to be on the ground with the clients delivering front-line services and supports. It has been a challenging time in securing sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and finding a balance between keeping our clients at home with less human contact while ensuring they have social engagement and time outdoors.
How have your fundraising plans changed?
Our programs, including peer support, counselling, and outreach have never been more relevant, and we have been able to transition them seamlessly to an online platform. We have received government funding to increase capacity and serve more people. This has been terrific.
What has changed is that the COVID-19 crisis has created the urgency to address housing. We need to reduce the number of people in shelters and in rooming houses and create safety for them. This is the key to creating safety for all of us.
While many of these responses are specific to CMHA, we are submitting this request on behalf of our Circle of Care project, which is a partnership between CMHA NWV, North Shore Alliance Church, and VCH’s Health Connections Clinic. For more information, please visit us online: https://northwestvancouver.cmha.bc.ca/news/reflections-on-the-circle-of-care-program/
If there is one story or message you would like to share with our community, what would it be?
That sustainable housing for individuals with mental illness, including addictions, who are also experiencing homelessness, is achievable but we need to create a circle of support.
How can one support your organization most effectively?
At this time, we are grateful for any support for the Circle of Care House or STEPS program.
The COVID-19 crisis has caused us to quickly ramp up our efforts to provide housing.
Can donations be transferred electronically? If so, how?
Yes, donations can be sent by EFT. Please connect with our Finance Manager: Donald Johansson ([email protected]).
We also accept donations through Canada Helps and have a page set up for this purpose: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/m/49508/donation