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: Casey House
Core purpose & mandate:
Casey House is Canada’s first and only stand alone hospital for people living with HIV/AIDS. Our purpose is to transform lives and health care through compassion and social justice. We provide inpatient, day health care and community programming, including outreach. Through our innovative and comprehensive approach to health care, we remain one of the few places where people with HIV/AIDS can seek care without judgment.
Learn more at: https://www.caseyhouse.com/
How is your organization impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
COVID-19 is dangerous, but even more so for our immunocompromised population. As a result, we’ve taken a number of steps to ensure the health and safety of people living with HIV/AIDS in Ontario as well as our staff and volunteers.
Between March and June, we put our outpatient programming on hold. We continued to provide over 100 clients with weekly food packages, on-site crisis intervention, and access to harm reduction supplies, as we know their primary challenges are food insecurity, mental health and substance use issues. In July, we began slowly reopening our health care services, first one on one appointments, and now takeout lunch and small group-programming.
In addition, to support the greater health care system in Ontario, we converted our dining room into a temporary inpatient unit and made room for an additional 10 beds. By temporarily expanding our capacity, we will be able to offload palliative and sub-acute patients from larger hospitals to allow them to cope with the anticipated COVID-19 surge. In keeping with our history, we are responding to the pandemic just as we did in the ‘80s when Casey House began, filling a gap when we see one.
How have your fundraising plans changed?
Our largest fundraising event, Art With Heart, which typically brings in $1 million was cancelled due to COVID-19. In response, we launched the Send Your Love campaign to recognize and thank the artists, gallerists, sponsors, and art buyers who have been involved in the art auction over the past 27 years. We are also soliciting donations in conjunction with this campaign to be able to fund vital support services not covered by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
See the love and participate in the campaign here: https://love.caseyhouse.com/
If there is one story or message you would like to share with our community, what would it be?
HIV continues to be a very real health threat for which there is no cure. In addition, people living with HIV endure a tremendous amount of stigma.
Casey House is a world leader in HIV/AIDS health care. We are one of the few places where people with HIV/AIDS know they’ll receive judgement-free care and there’s no cost to clients for our services.
We are able to deliver compassionate care that transforms live because donors believe in our team and in our clients. Your support enables the hospital to continue to deliver holistic HIV/AIDS care to those who need it.
How can one support your organization most effectively?
Direct donations to Casey House are the best way to make a difference right now. No one knows how long this pandemic will last and funds will allow us to ensure the hospital is able to meet the most pressing needs of our clients.
Can donations be transferred electronically?
One-time and monthly donations can be made at https://www.caseyhouse.com/support-us/one-time-monthly-donation/