October 22nd, 2020

Wood’s Homes continues operations during COVID-19


By Jensen, Randy on March 28, 2020.

Family support counsellor Corinne Marshall, holding a delivery of essential goods, alongside program manager Shauna Cohen, youth and family counsellor Tamara Siwalowski and administrative staff member Corinne Damaskie, are part of the team at Wood’s Homes trying to continue to help youth and families in crisis. Herald photo by Tim Kalinowski

Tim Kalinowski

Lethbridge Herald

tkalinowski@lethbridgeherald.com

The Wood’s Homes’ youth shelter and other services to support families in crisis will be trying as much as possible to be carry on business as usual during the pandemic.

“The shelter and all of our other programs are considered essential services,” says Shauna Cohen, program manager for Wood’s Homes in Lethbridge. “We assist children, youth and families that are vulnerable in our community. At this point in time, our shelter services remain open. Although there is only limited availability for walk-in supports.”

They will, however, be enhancing health screenings for those seeking shelter services, says Cohen, and her staff will otherwise be trying to mitigate the risks of transmission of COVID-19 as much as possible.

“We would appreciate a phone call to give us a heads-up about potential situations,” says Cohen. “That always helps so we can either redirect, or offer support over the phone, or do safety planning over the phone. But we recognize young people will also come to the door. So at the door we will screen them for any potential symptoms of the virus, and at that point in time we would decide a plan from there.”

Cohen says other community supports such as family and youth counselling will also continue, and many will rely on remote communication as much as they can.

“With schools and everything being shut down in the community, we understand there will be increased stress and anxiety in homes,” she says. “Our services are essential to maintain the contact, the support, the crisis counselling, the resources, because those families may not have those resources available elsewhere.”

Wood’s Homes will still be preparing resource kits free of charge for families and youth in the community to help deal with increasing social pressures brought on by COVID-19, and will continue to offer crisis intervention in various forms as needed.

For crisis counselling youth and families should call 1-800-563-6106 or 403-299-9699. Text 587-315-5000 between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. or email in to sign up for e-therapy at EFC.eCounselling@woodshomes.ca.

Wood’s Homes also offers a live chat option between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. on its website if a more immediate response is required. Visit woodshome.ca for more details.

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