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Think Of The Homeless!

This is an unprecedented and historical time for the homeless individuals in British Columbia as well as the rest of Canada all due to the Pandemic caused by COVID-19.

Times of uncertainty faces the homeless on a daily basis and given the lock down of the shelters by the Provincial Government as well as the Coastal Health Authorities this has caused hard times for those less fortunate. 

As history recalls, the Hostel dates back to 1957 when the Archdiocese of Vancouver purchased and first opened in November 1959 during a terrific winter storm and is now some 60+ years old and still located on the third floor and a former industrial building. 

Under normal circumstances shelters would be operating at full capacity with a full number of clients of homeless filling the space, which would give them a place to sleep, rest, get food, refreshments and relax while off the streets, thereby some solace in comfort. 

However, under these trying times the situation has drastically changed with conditions being measured by two meters or six feet between the beds. 

In addition to having their meals now being boxed dinners from the staff, which changed to the past as before they would get their meals served in a more open dining area. 

Since March 15th to the current day things have changed as the clients or homeless are able to check in at 4:00 pm allowing them time to vacate or leave the streets and enjoy the amenities such as a shower, a meal and relax in the TV lounge. 

The morning see’s them up early so as to shower and get fed before heading back out at 7:00 am with a bag lunch and meal tickets which provides them for various services in the greater Vancouver area. 

Given the current Covid-19 Pandemic and the many closures of restaurants and public places such as the Public Library it hits this group of society extremely hard. 

Closure of City Parks as well as the limited number of individuals allowed to gather makes it extremely hard on everyone in the shelter to find extra things to do to keep them busy during the day. 

There are six dorms with roughly eight beds to a room that are now more spaced apart in the shelter’s to ensure their safety and health.

The guests are allowed to watch TV and enjoy the use of the washroom facilities, showers and the reading room which is called the library for reading when they check in.

The staff at this particular shelter basically take care of those who checked in, known as residents that have had their jobs put on hold as well as assist the residents to find housing as well as other services such as medical or government paperwork to help place them in housing. 

It is hoped that this current Covid-19 pandemic can level off and those affected are able to return to full health to not only take care of the homeless, but the rest of society as well. 

Well some might frown on these individuals, let’s not forget that they are individuals who are down on their luck and it’s only hoped that somehow the Governments can come up with a solution to homelessness!!!

Sounds sad – but nothing has changed in the last few years, especially considering at one point this was an election promise – no names or party mentioned.

Before I forget, I should mention that if you wish to donate to the Catholic Charities Men’s Hostel you can contact them via email at menshostel@rcav.org or phone at (604) 443-3292