April 21, 2020
I hope that you and your family are keeping well as we move through these strange times. I wanted to reach out today to share a few updates and to share some resources we’ve been collecting on our website.
Access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been a hot topic in the news and has consumed a lot of our time and energy at St.Amant. We want to ensure that we’re doing everything we can to keep your family members and our staff safe. I’m pleased to say that the Manitoba Government through the Department of Families delivered our first shipment of PPE the weekend of April 11th and we were able to distribute an allotment to all of our homes, meeting the recommended timeline that Public Health set forward. We’ve also received a second shipment and are in the process of distributing to each home. To see the guidelines we are following, you can access the Shared Health website and Group Home Guidelines.
Over the past few weeks we have spent a lot of time planning for staffing, should large numbers start to become ill, and also to cover the additional time that people are at home. We reached an agreement with our unions that supports us to redeploy staff whose services are not operating to increase capacity in programs where there is an increased need. I’m confident that with the support of our funders, other community agencies and our own St.Amant staff, we have enough staff. Should a lot of people become sick, we will be relying on essential services staffing levels and may require family and/or government support. To date, no one supported by St.Amant and no staff have been ill with COVID-19.
We’ve been compiling a number of wellness and mental health resources and sharing them on the St.Amant website. Please have a look and don’t hesitate to reach out if we can help in any way through these challenging times.
I can’t tell you how proud I am of our Direct Support Staff who are making the very best of a difficult time. They are being creative in keeping everyone busy and safe. They are using mindfulness and compassion to support people who are having a hard time. And they are keeping optimistic and positive while also balancing their own personal challenges. I couldn’t be more proud and grateful for the work they are doing. We were so grateful to receive an offer from a local Tim Hortons to deliver treats to 10 homes every Monday – the deliveries started this week and the response from everyone was great. We will do our best to show our gratitude as often as we can.
Again, I hope that you are keeping well and thank you for your patience and support.
Director, Community Residential Program