End Homelessness Winnipeg is facilitating a COVID-19 Response in collaboration with the city’s homeless-serving sector. The COVID-19 Response is focused on maintaining access to essential services like food, shelter and health care, while encouraging prevention measures such as social distancing, hand washing, disinfecting surfaces and monitoring symptoms.
Engagement and Planning
The COVID-19 Response has engaged with more than five dozen local and regional agencies to collectively identify urgent priority actions needed for the health and safety of those experiencing homelessness. These priorities are the basis of a COVID-19 Response Plan for Winnipeg that is being finalized to include:
• Overflow space providing emergency shelter that allows for social distancing
• Individual rooms for self-isolation or quarantine
• Testing near emergency shelters and through safe, accessible transportation
• Health and harm reduction supplies including masks, gloves, soap and sanitizer
• Access to food, hygiene, and safe space
• Enhanced street outreach providing basic needs as well as health information and resources to prevent the spread of COVID-19
Community stakeholders are joining forces with an unprecedented level of collective commitment and urgency. Together, we will flatten the curve and protect the health of those we serve.
As Community Entity responsible for the Reaching Home federal homelessness initiative locally, End Homelessness Winnipeg is working with other funders to resource priorities identified by the COVID-19 Response. End Homelessness Winnipeg is also working with all agencies funded through Reaching Home in 2019 and 2020 to extend flexibility and address needs related to project outcomes. In many cases, program or staffing changes may have been undertaken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Gizhe Waa Ti-Sii-Win Service Delivery Expo scheduled for May 14 has been postponed, tentatively to September 10. End Homelessness Winnipeg’s offices at 216 Pacific and 213 Notre Dame will remain closed until at least April 13, with most staff working remotely from home.