MAY 2020
YW Calgary is committed to supporting the safety
and well-being of the neighbourhoods in which we operate
COVID-19 Update
How YW Calgary is adapting
So much has changed over this past month. We hope that you and your loved ones are doing well and keeping safe under the circumstances!? Our main priority remains the safety and wellbeing of our employees and over 200 women and children we support and who reside with us each day and night in our five residential facilities: YW Hub, YW Sheriff King Home, Croyden, Providence and Maple.
As we all take guidance and direction from the Government of Alberta on the Province’s Re-Launch Plan, this phased approach will impact YW Calgary differently across our many programs and services. We are working hard to develop plans and processes that will eventually allow us to re-open services at the YW Hub that were closed entirely and bring back in-person programming for ones that have gone virtual. We foresee keeping many of our virtual program options as it helps us reach more people and provides alternative ways for people to receive support. We are pleased to highlight specific examples below. 
We are thrilled to report that, despite the initial shock of the crisis, there have been many positive developments at YW. The biggest win is that we continue to have safe and healthy environments in all YW buildings thanks to the diligent efforts of our staff teams and clients and their focus on physical distancing, the use of personal protection equipment (PPE) and enhanced cleaning practices. We know these practices have been hard for staff and clients, and for everyone in our community for that matter, making people feel even more isolated. Many of our clients struggle with isolation at the best of times and this pandemic has exacerbated this especially for those who have limited support networks.
Our frontline staff continue to provide essential care and services despite many new and changing obstacles. We are so grateful for the understanding and support of our partners and neighbors as we help each other navigate this extraordinary and unprecedented time. We truly are in this together.  

Stay current on changes at YW Calgary, visit our COVID-19 page - updated daily.

What you may see around YW at this time
This is a very challenging time for everyone and we are all struggling with a myriad of new and tricky emotions as the weeks pass with this pandemic. Those of us who benefit from having homes, family, friends, jobs and activities to help us deal with the anxiety and stress may not fully understand the impact this pandemic is having on those who do not have those same comforts and supports. For most of the nearly 200 women and children who shelter under a YW roof each night, those supports are not there for them. Their friends and family are outside YW doors and there are limited places in our COVID world where they can connect because so many of the public buildings in the downtown core and surrounding neighborhoods are closed to the publicm, including the YW Hub. This, combined with the improved weather, means they are spending time together outside. Many of those individuals visiting clients may also be struggling to find safe places to be and recognize spaces around YW buildings as safe places to spend time, perhaps even the night. You may see people gathering or sleeping on benches and nooks of buildings. We recognize this can be concerning and even scary for some, even more so when we are all feeling on edge because of the pandemic.
We are incredibly proud of our team and how they work constantly to support the wellbeing of our clients and at the same time work with clients and their friends to be respectful neighbors. This is never easy given the challenges and vulnerabilities many of our clients face. Something that helps us is imagining walking a mile in their shoes. We then ask, human to human, how we can help. Do you have somewhere to go? Can I call someone for you? Can I bring you a sandwich or coffee? In the end, it comes down to the simple things and how we can help each other. Please call us or email us and we can work together to address concerns you may have as a neighbor and at the same time support the most vulnerable in our community who are even more vulnerable and isolated because of COVID-19.  
While our YW Childcare closed initially on March xx, it was selected as a designated childcare facility for  essential workers during COVID-19 with reduced spots available. We are waiting for further direction for the Government of Alberta on how we can make these spaces available to non-essential workers in the coming weeks. Contact us to learn more about the open spaces.
Call 403.232.1594 or email us.

Virtual Counselling
Taking care of yourself in times of stress also includes taking care of your mental health. YW Counselling offers virtual appointments, available to everyone. Book your appointment today!
Call 403.536.2844 or email us

Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada
LINC is excited to be offering their first online language instruction classes. The new semester started on April 20, 2020. This new delivery method has been very popular and we are hoping we can reach more people with this virtual offering. Visit the LINC page for more program information.
Call 403.750.5357 or email us.

Mindful Moments
This program teaches parents and their children mindfulness skills and principles to help manage strong emotions and reduce the likelihood of impulsive behaviour and mental health concerns. These are skills that are especially important during these uncertain times. In light of physical distancing, our incredible Child Development Counsellors have created a video series of sessions you and your children can practice from home. Register for this online series today!
Call 403.750.2500 or   email us .
Community Spaces update
On March 18, we sadly had to close our Community Kitchen, rooms and Fitness Centre to the public following directions from Alberta Health Services. We miss seeing familiar faces in these spaces, enjoying a variety of events, activities, classes and workshops.
Following this closure, we quickly shifted our focus to using the Community Kitchen & rooms to support our residents in Transitional Housing with meals from a great community partner, Meals on Wheels. This allows our residents to ‘Stay Home’ and ‘Stay Healthy’ and minimize contact outside the facility.

“Thank you for this food you are providing. I have yet to receive any money from my recent income support application and the food provided is a lifesaver for me.”
YW resident
Our Community Kitchen, Rooms and YW Fitness Centre will open when it is safe and to do so. We are following the Province’s plans closely and making our own preparations to be ready for re-opening. We know things will look different initially and timing is still unknown. We will continue to connect with our members and customers on our status. We greatly appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.

Subscribe to our 'Stay Connected, Stay Healthy' newsletter here.
Family Resource Network
YW Calgary is excited to have been selected by the Government of Alberta as one of their funded organizations offering new, free programs for families with children and teens through the Family Resource Network.
This network will provide community-based programs and supports to families in our community who might be experiencing or are at risk of adversity. These programs focus on support for the whole family. Caregivers and parents will gain new skills and knowledge to strengthen family relationships, support children and teens to cope with trauma and improve child and youth development by building resilience, which in turn fosters well-being. The program officially launched on April 27 th  and is open to the public in a virtual format for now .  
To register families can call: 403-262-0497 or email us .
 Wondering how you can help?
Host an Online Fundraiser
Many of our supporters have been reaching out to ask how they can help and still respect physical distancing so we've come up with ways to keep you engaged with us. Facebook Facebook Fundraisers  and GoFundMe make it incredibly easy to fundraise online. This is great way for you to share your support of YW with your community. Maybe you have an upcoming milestone like a birthday, anniversary, or tribute? Online fundraising can be an impactful way to celebrate events that we can’t share in person right now. Several YW team members have tested these online fundraising platforms on their own social networks and found considerable success. If you create a campaign, let us know and then share your links with your friends and networks to help spread the word.

We’d love to hear about your fundraising efforts. If you have any questions or need help setting up your own online fundraiser we’d be happy to help you: Email us .
We'd Love to Hear from You

We're always happy to hear from neighbours and community members. Please send questions, concerns or comments to:

Carla Link
Director, Communications
& Community Relations
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