As the Coronavirus situation requires us to re-think everything we do, we continue to put all our efforts into supporting the most vulnerable people in our city.
People dealing with homelessness and poverty are already much more likely to suffer problems with both physical and mental health. We know it’s crucial that we protect their physical health by maintaining the most stringent hygiene protocols and creating sufficient physical distance between people. We also know that a lack of social contact is detrimental for people with mental health difficulties, and so catering for these conflicting needs has been a challenge.
We will be collaborating with Julian House, using Manvers Street Baptist Church, to provide day centre facilities for people who are homeless. This will be open every week day between 09:00 and 17:00, and will enable clients to spend time indoors, in comfort, but at a safe distance from others. Food will be supplied three times a day, and there’ll also be access to showers.
At the weekends, we will need to reduce the service, but food will still be available twice a day. This enables the most efficient use of time and resources to deliver the maximum support.
Staying socially connected is essential for many of us, and for people whose mental health is fragile, all the more so. Our Life Skills creative groups would usually be giving people the chance to get together several times a week, to draw, make, knit, drum, exercise, and more. But of course this has all had to stop, as we seek to limit the spread of Covid-19. For some of our clients, meeting together regularly is the one thing which keeps them afloat.
The good news, however, is that we have adapted, and Matt, our talented Life Skills facilitator, has created an online art group, via Facebook, which means vulnerable people who are physically isolated need not feel alone.
The group is growing, and there is even the opportunity to increase the level of connectivity, using live-streaming, online surveys to decide the subjects for each artistic challenge, and collaboration with other creative groups in the city.
For all our work with vulnerable people we depend on the generous donations we receive. If you’d like to give at this time of crisis, you can do so here.