To help slow the rate of COVID-19 infection in Hamilton, the City of Hamilton is closing all Recreation Facilities from March 14 until further notice..
By James VanderBerg, Executive Director, Welcome Inn Community Centre
Welcome Inn is responding in significant ways to the increased need caused by this crisis. It’s true that we had to suspend our children’s programs and close New Horizons Thrift Store. We also had to make the difficult decision to tell our volunteers to stay home and be safe. We have managed to juggle things with our small, but committed staff team, and we have hired six new staff in order to expand other aspects of our services.
Our food bank has expanded its hours of operation. Not only are we open longer each day (10:30-2:00pm), we have added an extra day (Tuesdays, 12:00-4:00pm) to provide barrier-free access for the city’s most marginalized community members, including the LGBTQ+ community and homeless individuals. Our food bank has shifted to a grab-and-go, hamper-style food bank in order to reduce the risk of transmission and keep our community members safe. And, for those who cannot access the food bank because they’ve been quarantined or have mobility issues, we are working with the City of Hamilton to ensure that emergency food hampers are delivered directly to their door.
In addition to emergency food hampers, Welcome Inn is working with four other partners and has launched a pilot project that will see emergency prepared meals delivered to the front doors of those in need.
For isolated and vulnerable seniors, Welcome Inn has gathered a dynamic team of volunteers who are now calling seniors on a daily basis, and we are partnering with the City to get emergency food hampers delivered directly to their doors. Welcome Inn is also now arranging for the delivery of personal items and medications, as well as puzzles and colouring books for seniors.