An update from our CEO,
Keeping our doors open to Calgary’s most vulnerable during COVID 19 has been our top priority. While it has not been easy, for us and other recovery and housing services across the city, it has been essential we remain open.
According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information it was recorded that between the months of March 2020 – September 2020, there were 81,000 hospital stays across Canada related to harm from drugs or alcohol. This is a rise of 4,000 stays from the same time frame recorded in 2019. Tracey Johnson, CIHI’s Director of Health System Analytics said in the article Hospital Stays for Substance Use Harms Increased During the First Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic explained the rise of hospitalizations in his quote below.
“We heard from experts that many people were not able to access mental health supports in the community due to the lockdowns during the first months of the pandemic. The increase in the number of people ending up in the hospital can be considered an unintended consequence of COVID-19.” – Tracey Johnson, CIHI Director of Health System Analytics
The need for organizations, such as the Calgary Dream Centre to keep their doors open in the middle of restrictions and lockdowns is essential for the mental health of our city and our hospitals. Recovery treatment is a “proactive” measure that helps stop the cycle of addiction in the lives of those who go through our program. It gives program attendees the tools they need so when mental health challenges arise, they longer end up in the hospitals for substance harm.
Since March 2020, we have housed 702 men and women, and seen 158 individuals successfully graduate our recovery programs. This has taken place despite us being in the middle of a global pandemic and we are grateful we could help these individuals find housing, healing, and hope.
While it is important that we continue to do our upmost to maintain our current protocols and prevent the virus from spreading within our organization, we have the added challenge of making sure these rules and regulations do not cause a barrier for Calgarians to receive treatment or housing.
As per CMOH order 07-2021, these are the measures we have put in place in response to the pandemic:
- Provided a thorough screening process for all intakes, staff, residents, and guests who enter any of our properties.
- Created an isolation space for any resident who is showing any symptoms.
- Put a protocol in place for front-line staff to daily monitor the health and wellbeing of our residents.
- Provided a safe space for clients to isolate and recover outside of the CDC should they test positive or have been considered a close contact to a positive case of COVID 19.
- Put a “pause” on our volunteer program to protect both outside visitors and our residents from outside transmission.
- Adjusted our visitor policy to only those who are essential to our operations being permitted to enter.
- Increased sanitation measures in client residences, office spaces and all public spaces.
- Ordered rapid testing kits to identify any risk of the virus entering our facility right away.
- Allowed administrative staff to work from home.
- Partnered with a local pharmacy to provide vaccines to residents.
- Monitored and enforced surgical masks being worn by all residents and staff.
- Encouraged social distancing through signage, seat placements and dining schedules.
We have considered both the mental health and physical wellbeing of individuals in making these decisions. Counselling, safe fitness opportunities, program classes and socially distanced meetings will continue to run to fulfill our mission of providing holistic care for those who we house.
To continue to provide safe and effective care, we could use your help!
With the cost of providing PPE for 370 residents and 60+ staff every day, the loss of revenue from cancelled events, the increased workload on staff to maintain health regulations and the cost of cleaning products. We need our CDC community more than ever.
Below are some ways you can support us:
Cleaning Supplies: With strict cleaning protocols, we are going through cleaning products such as all-purpose cleaners like Lysol quickly. Any donation of disinfectant wipes, Lysol call-purpose cleaning liquid, Windex/ glass cleaners or any disinfectant product you may have lying around would be gratefully received.
Personal Hygiene Products: We believe part of restoring dignity is through cleanliness. Donations of shaving cream, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and shampoo is greatly appreciated by our residents.
Recreational Supplies: Basketballs, footballs, gym weights or any recreational type of gift gives our residents more ways to get outside and enjoy safe recreation within their cohorts. Since gyms are closed, we could use your help to provide equipment for residents to keep up their physical and mental health.
Monetary Gifts: Monetary gifts are always appreciated. When you donate to our organization, it will go directly to helping us continue to provide recovery treatment and housing for Calgary’s most vulnerable. Your support so far has enabled us to be part of the solution to the addiction crises in Calgary. Thank you for helping us, help others.
Thank you to those who have supported us through this time. We are so grateful for your ongoing prayer and support.
Jim Moore, CEO
Calgary Dream Centre