Gateway Gazette

Rowan House: Coronavirus Update

Hello everyone! We wanted to take this opportunity to update you on how things are going a few weeks into this new normal we’re all experiencing together.

First, let us express our utmost gratitude to everyone who has reached out to ask what they can do to help us and the families we serve. We know this is a tough time for all as this virus has both a human and economic toll, and we are heartened by the continual support of this amazing Foothills community.

If you missed our original press release, Rowan House is absolutely still open for business and our staff have been working tirelessly to ensure as little disruption to residents, clients and community as possible.

That being said, we know it’s vital for us to do our part to flatten the curve. We have reduced our capacity to adhere to all of the requirements of social distancing and to ensure enough space to quarantine should anyone fall ill. However, our crisis line (403-652-3311) is still in operation 24-7 and a shelter counsellor is on site, ready to discuss intake or just provide some emotional support for whatever situation you may be facing during self-isolation. We hope you can understand that there will be new screening questions in-regards to COVID-19 as part of the intake as we work to prevent the spread of the virus and keep our shelter counsellors and current residents safe. We will assess everyone’s individual situation and discuss admission accordingly. Being ill will not prevent admittance, but it may result in an immediate 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Fortunately, all rooms were equipped with intercom systems this past year as part of our security upgrade and we are well prepared for this potential situation.

Rowan House: Coronavirus Update

Meanwhile, if the shelter is full, you may be referred to working with an Outreach counsellor who will be able to provide safety planning and counselling support over the phone. They continue to work with all of their current clients in this manner as well, and we are in the process of getting them set up for video calls to further deepen that connection for those who need it.

Our Preventative Education facilitators miss being in the classrooms and the community but have been discussing how they plan to continue to provide our Healthy Relationship education to all of the students who would have participated in our programming this Spring. We have connected with their teachers to see how we might fit into their new way of providing learning and will be developing some video and other content for them to include in their lesson plans. We will also be rolling out a Highlight series on our social media platforms to share some of the key learnings from all of our Grade 2, 5, 8 and 11 presentations – and we’ll have some content specific to adults as well.

It’s as important as ever that we continue to have an honest dialogue around Family Violence and do what we can to check in on our loved ones and friends. We fully expect to see an increase in incidents of abuse as stress levels and emotions rise and boil over during this time.

We are very pleased that the government has recognized us an essential service and is providing additional funds to help emergency and second-stage shelters across the province respond to changing conditions in relation to COVID-19. With that being said, we are currently learning what that will look like for our services and programming as a whole and what other gaps may remain.

Again, we truly appreciate you thinking of us and offering to drop off donations of basic needs and supplies for our families. While we encourage you to Stay Home other than to get the groceries you need for you and your own family, we understand the need to do something in times of such chaos. We are limiting visitors to the shelter but are once again accepting donations of essential items. If you are wanting to support we ask that you please connect with our Shelter Facility Assistant beforehand to book an appointment. We also gratefully accept financial donations through our website at any time.

From all of us here at Rowan House, thank you again and wishes of health and safety to you all.

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