COVID-19 Updates

Last Update: April 29th 2020 at 12:30pm

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic has changed life for all of us in many new and unsettling ways. At Mission Services of London, we are committed to serving those in our community who are experiencing – or at risk of – homelessness, mental illness, addiction, and poverty.

Unfortunately, many of those experiencing homelessness are among the most vulnerable to a virus outbreak due to compromised immune systems and chronic health conditions. In the midst of this upheaval, we are committed to continuing to respond to people experiencing need, affirm human dignity, and inspire hope as best we can – no matter the challenges we face.

As the pandemic continues to progress, we are following the guidance of health officials and will continue to do so. We are also working with service providers across the city around a system response and are in frequent contact with the City of London and Middlesex-London Health Unit.

What our service looks like will no doubt evolve as the emergency continues to unfold and health guidelines are updated. At this time, we are taking the following steps to protect clients, staff, and volunteers:

  • Asking that staff who are sick stay home
  • Facilitating working from home arrangements and electronic communication where possible
  • Suspending volunteer programming for the time being. We are still accepting volunteer applications for opportunities when they resume.
  • Implementing screening procedures for clients in programs at all branches
  • Implementing strict hygiene standards:
    • Monitoring and increasing our supply of cleaning products and personal protective equipment
    • Educating staff and clients about proper hand washing and respiratory etiquette
    • Thorough and consistent cleaning of common areas and high-touch surfaces
  • Implementing necessary changes to programs:

Administration Office:

    • Temporarily closing the Administration Office to visitors
    • Cancelling public tours of all branches until further notice
    • Suspending gift-in-kind (i.e. donated goods) drop-off and pick-up services at the Administration Office

Community Mental Health Programs:

    • Temporarily closing the Resource Centre at Community Mental Health Programs
    • Continuing to offer Transitional Case Management and Streetscape services to outreach clients via phone, email, and text
    • Providing referrals to options for client isolation and monitoring
    • Suspending gift-in-kind (i.e. donated goods) drop-off and pick-up services at Community Mental Health Programs

Mission Store:

    • Reducing the operating hours of the Mission Store to:

Monday-Friday: 9am-4pm
Saturday: 10am-2pm
Sunday: Closed

    • Resuming donated clothing and household items drop-off at the Mission Store during operating hours
    • Resuming donated clothing and household items pick-up services through the Mission Store van. Items for pick-up must be able to be accessed from outside (e.g. driveway or porch) as staff and volunteers will not be entering private homes. To book a pick-up time, please complete the Donation Pick-Up Request form on the Mission Store’s website.
    • Resuming the Emergency Voucher Program
    • Limiting the number of visitors in the store at any given time
    • Implementing a shopping time limit for each visitor
    • Directing the traffic of visitors in the store
    • Installing plastic barriers between visitors and the cashiers at the check-out counter
    • Limiting access to the fitting rooms
    • Providing access to hand sanitization stations for visitors

Please note that all donated items will be quarantined before being made available to the public.

Men’s Mission:

    • Facilitating multiple sittings during meals to ensure that as few people as possible are occupying the cafeteria at any time; as well as asking clients to sit one person per table in the dining area
    • In conjunction with the City of London and Middlesex-London Health Unit, we are responding to the need for physical distancing at Men’s Mission by providing off-site hotel options to some of our clients; some clients remain in our shelter space while others are in hotels. We will continue to provide support to our clients both inside the shelter and off-site.
    • Facilitating options for client isolation and monitoring in collaboration with City of London, Middlesex-London Health Unit, and London InterCommunity Health Centre
    • Suspending clothing donations to Men’s Mission. Donations of Personal Protective Equipment and food are still welcome and very much appreciated. If you are able to donate, please reach out to Elaine at ecabrera@missionservices.ca to coordinate the drop-off.

Quintin Warner House:

    • Suspending community outings where that is a usual part of client programming
    • Implementing modified intake procedures as appropriate
    • Providing spaces for client isolation and monitoring
    • Suspending gift-in-kind (i.e. donated goods) drop-off and pick-up services at Quintin Warner House

Rotholme Family Shelter:

    • Continuing to offer shelter diversion services to families through Rotholme Family Shelter via phone, email, and text
    • Suspending community visits at Rotholme Family Shelter. If you would like to get in contact with a family staying at Rotholme Family Shelter, please call the office at 519.673.4114 and leave a message for them.
    • Facilitating multiple sittings during meals to ensure that as few people as possible are occupying the cafeteria at any time; as well as asking clients to sit one family per table in the dining area
    • In conjunction with the City of London and Middlesex-London Health Unit, we are responding to the need for physical distancing at Rotholme Family Shelter by providing off-site hotel options to some of our clients; some clients remain in our shelter space while others are in hotels. We will continue to provide support to our clients both inside the shelter and off-site.
    • Facilitating options for client isolation and monitoring in collaboration with City of London, Middlesex-London Health Unit, and London InterCommunity Health Centre
    • Suspending gift-in-kind (i.e. donated goods) drop-off and pick-up services at Rotholme Family Shelter

With these safety measures in place, we are continuing to offer safe shelter and care to those most vulnerable among us.

When we support men, women, and children in need, we can help reduce their exposure to the illness and help improve their lives in the long term.

If you wish to join our efforts at this time, we would be most appreciative of financial donations made online which reach us immediately. Your financial contribution could help fund:

  • vital Personal Protective Equipment to keep staff and clients safe
  • additional staffing in housekeeping and direct client support
  • the purchase of food to provide meals to hungry men, women and children

It could also help secure important supplies like:

  • disposable cups, plates, bowls, and cutlery for meal deliveries
  • hand sanitizer
  • toilet paper
  • cleaning products
  • grocery store gift cards for outreach clients who are struggling to make ends meet in the community

Give Now

If you prefer, we are also able to accept donations in the form of cheques made payable to Mission Services of London and mailed to 4-797 York St., London, Ontario, N5W 6A8.

Thank you for your generosity and compassion in these trying times. The safety of staff, volunteers and clients will remain our top priority as we follow guidance from health officials at each of our branches.

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