We were excited to open the doors to our Community Space on August 17, 2020, once again providing an inviting, engaging and welcoming environment for the community. Operations look a little different during Covid-19, but participant needs always come first at Bissell Centre. While we adapt our activities to meet health and safety requirements set out by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, we remain committed to our community and meeting their needs in a friendly space.
How have operations changed in the Community Space?
Screening and Sanitizing: We will be conducting health screens at the door. Individuals without COVID-19 symptoms will wash/sanitize their hands upon entry.
Food Safety: We will continue to provide healthy food and beverages, which will be served to participants in individual packaging, and there will not be any sharing of food.
Reduced Capacity: To maintain physical distancing requirements, the Community Space will have a maximum capacity of 30 people at any one time. We will be monitoring numbers at the door so that as many people as possible can gain access to services throughout the morning.
Tracking: We will also be tracking attendees that come to the Community Space. Should a case of COVID-19 be present in the future, this information can be used for potential contact tracing.
Reduced Hours: This applies only to “drop-in” services, allowing time to maintain cleaning and sanitizing procedures in our building. This also provides staff more one-to-one time with participants to help them move out of poverty.
Face Coverings: Are mandatory to access the space although exceptions are allowed as per the City of Edmonton Bylaw 19408
How these changes may affect the community?
Eliminating poverty remains our vision and our top priority. The “drop-in” nature of the Community Space provides immediate essential needs and also serves as a platform for Bissell staff to engage with participants to help them achieve long-term success. Reducing capacity in the community space means we can have more intentional conversations with participants and build even stronger relationships, to help people access the supports and resources they need to move out of poverty.
Bissell Centre’s programs are designed to provide a holistic approach to supporting individuals and families to get out of poverty. We have increased the integration of services so that participants can more easily access employment, housing, and financial supports.
The reduced hours for drop-in services create more time for individual appointments providing intentional support for moving people out of poverty. Non “drop-in” hours will be used for appointments and program-based supports.
Working together to keep our Community Space open
Life under the threat of COVID-19 is challenging for everyone. Bissell Centre remains fully committed to meeting the needs of participants while working with government and local partners to find alternate solutions so we can continue to ensure safety for everyone in our community now and in the future.