How has COVID-19 Impacted The Mustard Seed’s Guests and Clients?

People experiencing homelessness are among the population most highly at risk of infectious diseases. At least 40% of our guests and clients have pre-existing health conditions. With compromised immune systems, limited medical care, and poor nutrition, they already have a life expectancy of 30-40 years less than the general population.

The pandemic poses a new threat and another daily struggle to our most vulnerable citizens. Their survival is at risk, but we must continue to care for them with dignity and respect. We are deeply thankful for your commitment to helping those facing poverty and homelessness in these challenging and uncertain times.

What is The Mustard Seed Doing to Help Our Vulnerable Populations During the Pandemic?

First and foremost, The Mustard Seed will continue to provide essential services such as food, shelter, clothing, and hygiene supplies, to thousands of people in need.

Throughout the pandemic, The Mustard Seed has constantly had to respond and adapt to the uncertainties in all our locations throughout Alberta and British Columbia – all with their own unique set of challenges. We have taken diligent action since the initial outbreak to protect both our community and the public by implementing the highest standards of health and safety protocols, guided by Alberta and British Columbia Health Services.

Timelines

CALGARY RESPONSE SUMMARY

STATUS SUMMARY

On March 11, a worldwide pandemic of COVID 19 was declared. This report details the response taken by The Mustard Seed Calgary.

OVERVIEW

March 5, 2020 Alberta: First case of COVID 19 identified in Alberta

March 11, 2020 Alberta: Worldwide Pandemic declared
Organization: Meetings about COVID 10 response begin
Foothills Shelter: High touch points disinfected regularly

March 12, 2020 Street Level, Community Engagement create contingency plan
Foothills Shelter: Shelter volunteers begin cancelling shifts

March 13, 2020 Organization: Internal COVID 19 Committee is created
Foothills Shelter: Implementation of disinfectant spray bottles (Water and bleach mixture) at front desk to
disinfect guest’s hands as they enter the shelter , social distancing now in effect

March 14/15, 2020 Street Level begins using bleach solution to sanitize, wears masks

March 15, 2020 Alberta: School closures announced
Neighbor Centre Community HUBs temporarily close

March 16, 2020 Organization: HR addresses benefits /time away from work , TMS staff start working fro m home
Wellness Centre: now closed
Foothills Shelter: relief staff hiring process

March 17, 2020 Alberta: Public Health State of Emergency declared
Foothills Shelter: Handwashing stations ordered, Oxivir being used to spray floors, doorknobs, lockers,
horizontal surfaces

March 18, 2020 Organization: Employment, Community Engagement & HUBs Teams are redeployed to the Foothills Shelter
Foothills Shelter: first COVID 19 scare

March 19, 2020 Street Level can no longer refer clients to Wellness Centre, begins screening shelter guests before boarding the bus
Health & Wellness Advocates begin to take appointments over the phone
Organization : Relief Fund donation now open

March 20, 2020 Foothills/ FAC Shelte r: 9 relief staff hired for FAC shelter , Wash stations implemented in Zone 2 of shelter

March 23, 2020 Government: Government of Alberta committed $25 Million to support homeless serving agencies in response to COVID 19 Foothills/ FAC Shelter: Setup and bu s schedule implemented: 4:30am, 5:30am, 6:30am, 7:30am
IT: I: and U: drives working again
Foothills/FAC/FAC Shelter: capacity decreased from 370 to 23
Shelter: capacity decreased from 370 to 2355 social distancing lines created with orange tape social distancing lines created with orange tape throughout shelter2, FAC Shelter capacity at 120

March 25, 2020 Foothills /FAC Shelter: Social distancing now enforced stronger dining room rearranged to facilitate social distancing, TVs off during meal times, first aid stocked with N95 masks 3

March 26, 2020 Health & Wellness: Isolation Centre opened in the 102 building , wellness Staff began working in the Isolation Centre
Resident Engagement: updated screening protocols
Foothills /FAC Shelter: 600 N95s & 24 face masks donated, masks given to symptomatic/coughing guests ,
Employment/Advocate offices turned into isolation rooms 4
Sorting Centre: closed on weekends

Marcy 27, 2020 Foothills /FAC Shelter: N95 masks issue d to shelter staff

March 28, 2020 Foothills /FAC Shelter: Counseling office turned into isolation room, symptomatic guests must be gloved, masked and placed into isolation room until able to be transported to isolation center

March 29, 2020 Health & Wellness: First individual admitted to the Isolation Centre

March 30, 2020 Foothills /FAC Shelter: Emergency measures in place, shelters are now free to contact one another regarding FOIP info rmation without the use of ROI
Health & Wellness: Isolation Centre Letters to be written for guests leaving 102 Isolation Centre stating that
they have been cleared to return to the shelter

March 31, 2020 Health & Wellness: First group of guests placed in isolation receive negative test results

April 1, 2020 Street Level implements stricter security and social distancing policies

April 2, 2020 Foothills /FAC Shelter: Young Group of Companies steam cleans the shelter for the first time 5

April 4, 2020 Calgary: Isolation “hotel” opens in Calgary

April 6, 2020 Foothills /FAC Shelter: began announcing social distancing measures every 30 minutes , new mask protocols introduced

April 7, 2020 Government predication models released
Foothills /FAC Shelter volunteers begin returning to shelter shifts , meal service limited to one window to
encourage social distancing

April 8, 2020 Foothills /FAC Shelter: cloth masks now mandatory for all guests travelling on busses

April 11, 2020 Foothills/FAC Shelter: Staff now have the option of wearing face shields during intake

April 12, 2020 Foothills Shelter: ‘sneeze guards’ go up in intake office and at the front desk, mandatory for staff to wear surgical masks the entire duration of their shifts , COVID 19 daily fitness assessment form must now be filled
out every shift 6

April 15, 2020 Foothills FAC Shelter: screening process updated
Community Engagement: DEMOcrew 2020 program cancelled
Isolation Centre: begins transporting Isolation Guests downtown themselves, TMS Nurse Erin Bareham started
offering testing at Foothills Shelter Mon day Friday 7

April 16, 2020 Calgary: Drop In Center no longer accepts new clients

April 20, 2020 Organization: staff are now prohibited to use CPR on guests, naloxone still allowed
Foothills/FAC Shelter: Quarantine plan established for zone 5 of shelter, materials collected and prefab walls
built to establish additional quarantine section if needed

April 23, 2020 Foothills /FAC Shelter: each guest to keep the same mat during their duration to be able to contact trace better if needed

April 29, 2020 102 Main Floor turned into overflow isolation space, adding 12 more beds

April 27, 2020 Calgary: First positive case of COVID 19 identified at the Drop In Centre
Foothills/FAC Shelter: screening for guests who have stayed at the Drop In Centre implemented , procedure
forms updated 8

April 28, 2020 Foothills/FAC Shelter: Cloth masks now mandatory 24/7 for all guests while inside the shelter or using any TMS services

May 1, 2020 Organization: Alternate Summer Hours program suspended until further notice

May 4, 2020 Foothills/FAC Shelter: 6:30 evening shuttle bus cancelled

May 6, 2020 Calgary: Drop In Centre 6 positive cases, Alpha House 6 positive cases, Salvation Army 1 positive case

May 7, 2020 Calgary: Shelter workers honored by city of Calgary

May 11, 2020 Foothills/FAC Shelter: Face shields now mandatory when interacting with guests in close quarters

May 12, 2020 Foothills/FAC Shelter: Testing now offered to all staff members regardless of presence of symptoms or not, paint social distancing lines on the floor to replace the tape

May 13, 2020 COVID 19 testing is opened for all frontline staff

May 19, 2020 Foothills/FAC Shelter: Staff daily fitness report expanded with additional questions 9

May 22, 2020 Calgary: Drop In Centre continues to report more positive cases

May 24, 2020 Foothills/FAC Shelter: Safeworks now coming to the shelter to test all guests who desire to be tested

May 27, 2020 Foothills/FAC Shelter: Staff COVID 19 testing procedure refined

June 4, 2020 Foothills/FAC Shelter: COVID 19 guest info and checklist updated

June 16, 2020 Foothills/FAC Shelter: COVID 19 guest info and checklist updated to reflect longer wait times for test results

June 16, 2020 Isolation: Almost hits maximum capacity with only one bed remaining

July 9, 2020 Isolation: Non compliant guest suspended and asked to leave

July 16, 2020 Foothills/FAC Shelter: Frontline staff appreciation BBQ

July 22, 2020 Foothills/FAC Shelter: COVID 19 guest info and checklist updated

ONGOING CHALLENGES

Health & Wellness
We need to adapt services that require face to face contact, especially from our allied health
professionals (assessments, counselling, etc.) to ensure safety for both them and our clients. Until
we have a psychologist, we cannot undertake FASD assessments.

Resident Engagement
The challenge is more centered around our high needs residents that don’t fully understand what is going on. We have seen more relapses as a result of COVID 19, and this is due to the stress of not
being able to do much in the city. Another challenge is trying to keep residence busy and not
congregating as this is an easy way for transmission to occur.

We are also now attempting to do some more partnering with isolation to quarantine new move in‘s
for 10 days prior to moving into the building. We’ve had a high vacancy so we’re trying to get back to
a nearly full building. We’re needing to be cautious about it.

Street Level
Community Engagement
We have had to cancel or postpone almost all of our programing for March September 2020. While we plan on starting programs like SEEDschool up again in the fall, there is a lot uncertainty around when churches and schools will be opening again.

Foothills/First Alliance Shelter
Evening team lost 4 FT and 3 PT staff right away due to childcare /family health concerns, morning
team lost two PT staff for same reasons.

Running the shelter with about half of the staff being brand new. Fortunately, the numbers of guests
fell dramatically, so it wasn't too hard to deal with, and , a lot of the newer hires were highly
motivated and capable. Tania was able to step up and ably lead the evening team.

Finding experienced staff to team lead at FAC was an issue, but we managed ok for several reasons:
one fortunate redeployment from downtown of an experienced former shelter staff (Christian) to
team lead the night team, a providential encounter leading to hiring an experienced former staff
member to team lead in the evenings (Noah), support from Rose and various members of her night
team at the shelter, and a relatively quiet and benign environment at the church.

EDMONTON RESPONSE SUMMARY

STATUS SUMMARY
On March 11, a worldwide pandemic of COVID 19 was declared. This report details the response taken by The Mustard Seed Edmonton

OVERVIEW

March 5, 2020 Alberta: First case of COVID 19 identified in Alberta

March 11, 2020 Alberta: Worldwide Pandemic declared

Organization: Meetings about COVID 10 response begin
Foothills Shelter: High touch points disinfected regularly

March 12, 2020 NHL Suspended

March 13, 2020 Organization: Internal COVID 19 Committee is created
AHS prohibits public gatherings larger than 250 (except religious institutions and schools). Gatherings larger
than 50 should be cancelled if they include people over 60 years old , people with chronic illness, vulnerable
populations, or people who have returned from international travel. This applies to our drop ins.
Leaders asked to make cross training plans in case of employee illness

March 14 , 2020 Reduced number of people allowed in 96 Street drop in to 50 people (staff included)

March 15, 2020 Alberta: School closures announced
Community Engagement tours are put on hold

March 16, 2020 Organization: HR addresses benefits /time away from work, TMS staff start working from home
PAC no longer receiving donations

March 17, 2020 Alberta: Public Health State of Emergency declared
RAM closed to the public some greeters were deployed to other roles

March 18, 2020 Client screening begins. Given the go ahead to open Kinsmen Shelter have not received contract yet

March 19, 2020 Actively seeking donations of hand sanitizer /masks
Organization : Relief Fund donation now open
March 20, 2020
Mosaic Centre closes
Volunteer Services temporarily “closed” due to volunteers cancelling shifts

March 21, 2020 Closed 96 Street Drop In

March 23, 2020 Government: Government of Alberta committed $25 Million to support homeless serving agencies in response to COVID 19
Expo Center opens
IT: I: and U: drives working again againi Mo bile Health Unit operating solely at Expo
Notified winter staff at TNC that they would either be moving to Kinsmen and Expo and their hours will be
reduced.

March 25, 2020 CERB announced

March 26, 2020 Opening day of Kinsmen Shelter
HR orientation for new hires is postponed
Thrift store is closed

Marcy 27, 2020 Frontline staff are screened for symptoms each shift
Masks and eye protection only required for FL staff when doing screening or within 2 meters of a symptomatic
client.
TNC reduced hours to the summer model (Monday Friday 1:00pm 4:00pm)

March 30, 2020 Info released by IT on heightened phishing/malware attacks during covid
Social media request for handmade masks
Published communication guide for what to do if staff/volunteer develop symptoms

April 1, 2020 OSC requested to maintain reduced winter hours (27 labour hours per week) rather than increase to summer hours (39 labour hours per week); the casual labour component out of TNC was paused as well

April 3 , 2020 Homemade masks are now permitted for use Dinner2Door launch date

April 4, 2020 Posters developed for how to properly/safely wear masks
Developed “Essential worker verification letters” in case of Edmonton city shutdown

April 5, 2020 First day we were able to order masks (connection from Calgary office)

April 6, 2020 Greeter contract at RAM terminated early

April 7, 2020 Government predication models released

April 13, 2020 Masks mandatory for all frontline staff whenever they are within two meters of another staff or client
All staff require d to fill out assessment form when going to a TMS location
Government creates site to order PPE online

April 14+ 15, 2020 Providing cloth masks to cooking/baking groups and volunteers
Providing cloth masks to community members at the shelter and drop ins

April 17, 2020 Housing staff only permitted to work at one site
Volunteers required to sign COVID release
TNC closed to the public

April 20, 2020 Organization: staff are now prohibited to use CPR on guests, naloxone still allowed

April 22, 2020 Transitio ned to pickup curbside meals at CCC

April 23, 2020 Cloth masks provided to WWM residents
TNC pickup curbside meals started

April 24, 2020 Supervisor checklist sent out to be discussed with each staff, including staff acknowledgment form, question about working at multiple agencies, mask info, assessment form, self care and safety precautions.

April 30, 2020 Exchange of n95 masks for surgical masks with BMHC

May 1, 2020 Organization: Alternate Summer Hours program suspended until further notice
Practicum students permitted to work from home

May 5, 2020 All shelter staff are required to wear goggles/eye protections during shift

May 12, 2020 TMS relaunch strategy planning begins

May 13, 2020 New daily staff assessment form sent out with more symptoms

May 25, 2020 Government limits PPE orders to AHS funded programs

June 1, 2020 Chinatown & McCauley litter and needle pickup pilot project launched (contract with City of Edmonton and Chinatown)

June 10, 2020 Thrift Store reopened

June 15, 2020 PAC now accepting donations

June 17, 2020 Lift advisory that staff work from only 1 TMS site (still required for WWM)

June 22, 2020 OSC began working summer hours (39 labour hours per week)

July 6, 2020 Last day of operations at Kinsmen Shelter

July 7, 2020 50 M at program at Trinity Lutheran Church opens

July 12, 2020 30 M at program at Strathcona Baptist opens

July 20, 2020 Return to work at C SC

August 4, 2020 Day shelter at Trinity Lutheran Church opens 20 people

KAMLOOPS RESPONSE SUMMARY

OVERVIEW

January 28th, 2020 First case of COVID-19 in British Columbia

March, 2020 Pacific Dental Conference in Vancouver; an attendee had COVID-19. Two of TMS Kamloops staff attended this event

March 11th, 2020 The World Health Organization declares the COVID-10 outbreak a pandemic

March 13th, 2020
TMS internal COVID-19 committee created
COVID-19 information spread to TMS staff and posters created for clients to review

March 17th, 2020 Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, declares a public health emergency
Outreach Centre reduces services to meal program
TMS Kamloops halts volunteers
TMS Dental clinic closed under the B.C. Dental Association recommendations
Meal program moves to take out only
Outreach Centre reduces capacity from 80 to 24

March 18th, 2020 The government of BC declares a provincial state of emergency

TMS Managing Director began attending meetings with the City of Kamloops and vulnerable sector leaders (ex. CMHA, Ask Wellness, Kamloops Food Bank, etc)

March 19th, 2020 TMS Pandemic Relief Fund was created

March 23rd, 2020
New hours established at Outreach Centre (12 pm – 6 pm)
One community member tested positive for COVID-19
BC Housing extends funding for overnight mat program until the end of June

May 25th, 2020
TMS Kamloops started providing packaged meals for temporary shelter hosted by CMHA, in response to the global pandemic response (30-35 meals a day)
Individuals in the Men’s Supportive Living program started the “Good Neighborhood Clean Up”, the city provides funding for this

March 30th, 2020
City announces they will not be renewing any contracts until 2021
City of Kamloops works with other social agencies to create contingency plan at Memorial Arena in response to max capacity in shelters

April 2nd, 2020 Owner of Canadian Tire in Kamloops donates $3,000

April 15th, 2020 B.C. Government extends state of emergency until April 28

April 19th, 2020 We allowed the “Lived Experience Committee” to serve meals on Sunday’s and Monday’s from our parking lot (the days we do not operate)

June 24th, 2020 B.C.’s COVID-19 plan enters phase 3

August 22nd, 2020 Started partnership with Out of the Heat (Cold) to provide snacks and advocacy on days we do not operate (Sunday & Monday)

MEDICINE HAT RESPONSE SUMMARY

STATUS SUMMARY

ON March 11, 2020 a worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 was declared. This report details the response taken by The Mustard Seed Medicine Hat

OVERVIEW

March 11, 2020 Alberta: Worldwide Pandemic declared
Champion Centre: high touch points disinfected regularly

March 14, 2020 Plexiglass was installed in the Utility trailer and front door of the church building

March 15, 2020 Inside meal at church building with social distancing

March 16, 2020 Stopped feeding breakfast meal out in the front area of the building/church building
Began to serve the meal out of the utility trailer parked in the back of the Champion Centre Monday to Saturday Began serving out the front door of the church building Thursday and Sunday meal

March 26, 2020 Began daily temperature checks and screening of all staff and volunteers as they entered the building

April 4, 2020 Staff who had to be isolated due to holiday in US were temporary laid off

April 7, 2020 Advocacy program, clothing room and daily showers were discontinued, staff temporary laid off

April 13,2020 replaced the Thursday meal program at the church to a Neighborhood Care Package Delivery program

April 22, 2020 Clothing room/maintenance staff temporary laid off

May 1, 2020 Volunteers help to remove the stage area of the church in preparation for kitchen reno in time for the fall Phase 2 of COVID

May 10, 2020 Upstairs tenant program taking a new approach, with tenants being deployed to new housing arrangements ( 3month notice)

May 20, 2020 Decision made to continue the daily feeding program out of the utility trailer till fall. The Champion Centre has a commercial kitchen

But the front space is to small for COVID seating rules. The church has the seating capacity but not commercial kitchen

June 24, 2020 United Way support for 50,000.00 towards our feeding program

June 26, 2020 Community Foundation support for $40,000.00 towards our feeding program

July 2, 2020 Community Foundation Emergency fund $39,742.00 in support of our Kitchen renovation project as part of preplanning for COVID 19 phase 2

August 4, 2020 Permanent lay off of Program Manager, Wellness Advocate and Clothing room/Maintenance staff

August 7, 2020 Hired a part time kitchen staff

August 15, 2020 Received a Second Harvest grant for $20,000.00 for feeding program

August 23, 2020 Development permits have been sent to the City of Medicine hat for Kitchen Renovation Project

RED DEER RESPONSE SUMMARY

OVERVIEW

March 5, 2020 Alberta: First case of COVID-19 identified in Alberta

March 11, 2020 Alberta: Worldwide Pandemic declared
Organization: Meetings about COVID-19 response begin
Red Deer CSC and Shelter: Increased sanitation procedures. Frontline workers requested to wear gloves while on shift. Volunteer groups informed of impending meal cancellations. Shelter Kitchen closed to guests.

March 13, 2020 Organization: Internal COVID 19 Committee is created

March 15, 2020 Alberta: School closures announced

March 16, 2020 Organization: HR addresses benefits /time away from work, TMS staff start working from home
Volunteer Services: Volunteers asked to stay home

March 17, 2020 Alberta: Public Health State of Emergency declared
Red Deer CSC: Sunday Breakfast Club cancelled. School Lunch Program begins making daily sandwiches for community members and agencies.
Discussions start regarding maximum capacity of 50 and logistics for stages meal services.

March 20, 2020 Red Deer Shelter: Proposed plan to city for City Chapel Overflow shelter to accommodate social distancing in the shelter environment.

March 21, 2020 Red Deer CSC and Shelter: Increased screening of guests for symptoms of COVID
CSC converted to 24/7 Shelter extension at the request of city to reduce foot traffic in the city.
Guests requested to remain in the building as much as possible.
Community meal services cancelled.

March 23, 2020 Government: Government of Alberta committed $25 Million to support homeless-serving agencies in response to COVID 19

March 24, 2020 Red Deer CSC: Mental Health Counselling resumes via Telehealth

March 25, 2020 Volunteers Services: Key volunteers return, COVID questionnaire implemented for volunteers.

March 31, 2020 Red Deer Shelter: Overflow opens at City Chapel. 23 additional mats for 46 total, plus 4 additional staff.

April 7, 2020 Government predication models released

April 14, 2020 COVID 19 daily fitness assessment form must now be filled out every shift

April 22, 2020 Sneeze Guard installed on Reception Desk

June 6, 2020 Red Deer CSC and Shelter: Staff on frontline to wear masks when social distancing not possible.

July 1, 2020 Red Deer Shelter: Overflow relocated to Red Deer CSC

July 6, 2020 Red Deer CSC and Shelter: 24/7 Shelter Extension ends. Community Meals resume under new guidelines and 50-person capacity limitations. Volunteer Groups resume service

July 23, 2020 Red Deer CSC and Shelter: All self serve items removed to be served by volunteers and/or staff

August 8, 2020 COVID Self Assessment now done through eCompliance

August 24, 2020 Red Deer CSC and Shelter: Masks mandatory for all persons in building

How can we help?

Since the start of the pandemic, we have been overwhelmed with the generosity of our communities. Because of your generous support, we were able to maintain operations and essential programming in all five locations. The global scale of this pandemic may seem hard to deal with at times, but you can make a difference today and help in your community right now. Your continued prayers and support will be needed as we face this together. Pray for our most vulnerable citizens, for each other, and for the community at large.

The essential services provided by The Mustard Seed wouldn’t be possible without your support - you have saved lives. Help our most vulnerable as we face COVID-19 together.