Last updated November 9, 2021
How is Eva’s managing COVID-19?
As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, our organization remains committed to protecting the health and safety of young people and staff. This includes abiding by protocols to reduce the risk of transmission within our shelters and housing programs while continuing to provide wraparound supports for young people in need.
We have put in place several changes including:
- Adapting our programs to be able to support young people both virtually and in person with appropriate physical distancing in place.
- Reducing the number of young people in our shelters by moving some youth to a hotel program.
- Shifting our operations to abide by public health guidance on appropriate COVID-19 processes and protocols.
- Prioritizing harm reduction services and harm reduction education across all of our facilities to better support young people as they adapt to this ever-changing situation.
- Asking staff to work from home if they are able. This is not possible for all our staff, and we are grateful to those who continue to come on-site to provide much-needed services to youth.
Mandatory Vaccine Directive from the City of Toronto
The City of Toronto has put in place a mandatory vaccine directive for City-funded shelters, and Eva’s must comply with this legislation as per our funding agreement. All Eva’s employees were required to be fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine series by October 30, 2021. This directive also pertains to Eva’s volunteers and external contractors. No volunteers or contractors will be permitted to enter an Eva’s site without providing proof of their vaccination status.
PROGRAMMING FOR YOUTH:
While we are attempting to continue programming where possible, some programs have been paused out of an abundance of caution. COVID-19 has increased isolation for youth at Eva’s, and it is critical we continue to provide the necessary supports for these young people during this challenging time.
For young people experiencing homelessness, who have already survived so much in their young lives, the isolation, fear, and inequities they’ve experienced during the pandemic are contributing additional trauma. We have seen increases in anxiety, depression, and substance use among the youth we serve, resulting in a need for enhanced mental health and harm reduction supports, in addition to housing advocacy and employment counselling.
Eva’s Education and Life Skills Program:
Our frontline staff continue to support young people as they plan for their educational needs and develop important skills to help them move on in their journeys towards independence. Volunteer led workshops and activities have been cancelled.
Eva’s Recreation Program:
Recreation programs conducted in-house are continuing while following recommended public health guidelines.
Eva’s Print Shop:
- The commercial operations of the Print Shop remain open for business with a small group of staff working in the shop Mondays to Fridays from 9-5 p.m.
- The Print Shop is closed to walk-ins from the public.
- Deliveries of orders will be handled by third party courier companies.
- Order pick-ups will be scheduled in advance and performed outside of the glass vestibule entrance to Eva’s Print Shop.
- Drop-in access to the training lab and print shop equipment will also be postponed until further notice.
Eva’s Family Reconnect:
- Family Reconnect is providing services using video conferencing and over-the-phone counselling.
- Family Reconnect counsellors are not meeting youth out in the community.
- The Coordinated Intake Team is continuing with all appointments as scheduled and working with youth to do assessments over the phone.
Follow-up Support Services:
- Services for young people assigned a Housing Success Worker are provided remotely using telephone, email and text communication to ensure youth continue to receive the care they need.
Employment and Training:
- Eva’s Employment and Training programs are providing both virtual and in-person training for young people.
- Harm Reduction Services at Eva’s Satellite location are continuing as normal, with additional screening protocols in place.
Eva’s is following public health guidance with regards to in-person group meetings and events. More information on Eva’s upcoming events will be shared in the coming months.
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, we will provide additional updates.