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Caring for the community through pandemic

[Aneta Rebiszewski]

As a state of emergency has been declared in the province, social services organizations within the community want you to know they’re still here to help you through this difficult time.

Community Care Concepts and Woolwich Community Services will continue to work as usual to support those in the community who need their services, with minor changes amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Karla Frey, manager of community programs at Community Care Concepts, says non-essential programs are cancelled, but everything else is running as it should.

Non-essential services include the likes of active living programs, exercise programs, the day program and community program, said Frey.

She says programs deemed essential like Meals on Wheels and the assisted transportation programs are continuing to operate as normal. They’re also ensuring they check-in on people who may be feeling social isolation, using phone calls or in-person visits.

“Our support worker program is still running so we’re still getting groceries and taking people to medical appointments at this time,” she said.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Community Care Concepts has seen a rise in calls for people who need more meals and assistance getting groceries, a development Frey attributes to people choosing to self-isolate.

As the crisis grows, Frey expects barriers to arise. However, she says they will continue to get meals and essential services out to clients.

“We will do whatever we can remotely, but for the most vulnerable we will continue to serve,” said Frey.

Woolwich Community Services also continues to keep operations running as normal throughout the pandemic, however, their non-essential services like the thrift shop, public computers, youth centre and English school are currently closed.

Things like the food bank, lunch programs and the office will remain open so information and services can continue to be provided to the public. Employees will also rotate to ensure everyone can remain healthy and meet the needs of residents.

Kelly Christie, the agency’s executive director, says WCS will do everything it can to help the community through this difficult time, but they need the public’s help to ensure they are doing everything possible.

Staff at the organization is unsure what people’s needs are going to be because they’re never experienced anything like this in their lifetime, said Christie.

 “Our participants understand the situation,” she said. “I think we have such a strong supportive community and the information sharing between agencies is just amazing.”

She encourages everyone to be safe, take this situation seriously and give them a call if they or anyone they know needs assistance.

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