COVID – 19

Resources and Support Information

A Message From H.A.T.S

 

Update as May 13, 2020

A message from Hope and Area Transition Society:

March 16 was the beginning of a global pandemic, COVID-19.  At which time from every corner of the world, protocols, practices, closures, and lockdowns became our way of being.  As Hope and Area Transition Society navigated this uncharted territory, we assessed and developed procedures to ensure the well-being of our staff and clients, all-the-while ensuring that service delivery was continued.  It now appears that the curve has been flattened and beginning May 19 the restrictions that have been placed upon us will begin to lighten up. 

As an agency we developed plans for staff and client safety, for all 3 locations.  It has now been just over 2 months since these plans were executed.  We will begin phasing in new protocols for opening and meeting with clients in the office, how we will conduct groups and other activities that involve our youth.  As we ease into these new practices and embarking on our “new normal”, we will continue to monitor official updates and follow the guidance of Fraser Health and our provincial and federal health authorities.

Although cases of COVID-19 are on the decline in BC, the message continues to be social distancing, good hygiene and staying home when not well.  We are optimistic that we can resume a somewhat “normal” lifestyle.  This “new normal”, will look like this for accessing services at our Main Office:

  • Clients can begin seeing their worker face-to-face, following pre-screening symptom questions, and washing their hands. If clients exhibit any type of symptoms, the appointment will be rescheduled and/or done virtually
  • If clients are comfortable wearing a mask a disposable mask will be offered
  • If clients are comfortable meeting outdoors this will be considered an option
  • Only one person will be allowed in the foyer – safe distancing markers will identify the appropriate distancing, no client chairs will be in the foyer
  • No food or drinks will be handed out
  • There will not be any drop-ins available
  • In office washrooms will be closed to the public, the port-a-pottie and hand sanitizer station is outside for client use
  • The office will be closed when the receptionist is not in – signage will identify when the office will reopen and procedure for accessing harm reduction supplies

As per BC’s recommended group gathering limit, we will continue to monitor how we will deliver groups and consider the Summer Outdoor Activities guidelines which will be released in the coming weeks. 

Phone sessions with clients and virtual meetings will continue to be an option and we will be encouraging “open spaces and few faces” as our motto for outdoor activities.

We will continue to work with our community partners to offer assistance to those individuals and families who may need groceries delivered.  Presence in the community of Boston Bar has been enhanced to twice a week to help support families who have been impacted.

We will continue to work with the BC Housing, Fraser Health Authority and First Nation Health Authority on the Isolation Centre for our vulnerable unsheltered population.  Our unsheltered people are at greatest risk of contracting and spreading this virus.  Therefore, we have put in the following measures to minimize the risk for our unsheltered population:

  • Additional rooms at a local motel to “thin out” the Emergency Shelter
  • Increased staff at the 2 locations and an additional Homeless Outreach Worker
  • Increased community wellness checks extending to Agassiz/Harrison and Boston Bar
  • Weekly bagged lunches to camps
  • Daily monitoring of shelter clients to determine symptoms
  • Pre-screening measures of new clients to the shelter – limiting access to unknown individuals who are from out of town
  • Shower and washroom facilities available to those who are still living in camps and rough in the community

Access to the Transition House for women and children fleeing domestic violence remains open with the following protocols in place:

  • Ensuring safe distancing practices are maintained, therefore the capacity of women/children accessing the house has been reduced
  • Ability to access motels if the house has reached capacity
  • Enhanced cleaning practices
  • Texting number has been made available 604-869-1872 for accessibility to the house

There is no doubt that we have entered uncertain times, especially considering some of the mixed messages swirling around the internet and social media.  We are grateful for the work of our Health authority in communicating regular updates and calming fears and anxieties associated with some of the mixed messages. The prevailing messages we have heard loud and clear is that our best defense against this virus includes good hygiene practices washing hands, covering coughs, and staying home when unwell.  Self-isolate for 14 days if you have recently or are returning from outside of Canada, been in contact with someone who has been outside of Canada, or if you have the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Cough or sore throat

 

Additional symptoms may include muscle aches, fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, chills, runny nose, and loss of sense of smell or taste

With all that has been implemented and reviewed, precautionary measures to ensure that the health and safety of everyone attending and working at our facilities is our highest priority. Increased cleaning and sanitizing measures throughout our buildings will continue. We have also distributed signage to remind people of best practices surrounding hygiene and hand washing and physical distancing signage, along with plexi-glass have been installed.

We recognize that we all have been diligent in practicing safe distancing, hand washing and staying home when unwell over the past 2 months and we are feeling the need to expand our circles and get outside and enjoy the summer months.  New information is being released daily regarding the relaxing of restrictions and what businesses will be re-opening, this information may directly impact the status of how our services and programs will be delivered.  Our promise to you is to monitor information that is being delivered by Provincial and Federal authorities, this may mean we have to tighten up our service delivery again or that we are able to relax our restrictions further.  With that said we are committed to continuing to navigate these uncharted waters together with you over the next coming months.  We look forward to seeing you again in our office, accessing our services and programs.  Keep well and be safe.

Sincerely,

Gerry Dyble, Executive Director,
(ph) 604-869-5111 (ext 231)

Hope and Area Transition Society provides services, advocacy and education to build resiliency, empowerment and inclusion.

Main Office: (604) 869-5111

400 Park Street, PO Box 1761, Hope, BC V0X1L0

House of Hope Emergency Shelter: (604) 869-7574

650 Old Princeton Hwy. Hope, BC V0X1L4

info@hopetransition.org

Jean Scott Transition House: (604) 869-5191

I acknowledge our agency provides services within the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Stó:lō and Nlaka’pamux.