New outreach worker in Sudbury hits the street as pandemic makes homeless services hard to access
SUDBURY -- There is a new resource on the on the ground in Sudbury to help people who are spending more time outside on the streets due to the pandemic.
An outreach worker has been hired at the Samaritan Centre, the first in the centre's 16-year history, thanks to the federal emergency support fund.
The outreach worker circulates the downtown area with much needed supplies.
"They have homelessness, they have food insecurities, they have mental illness, addictions, poverty and so we just go and meet them where they are at," said outreach worker Robin Dunsford. "Talk with them, get to know them, get to know them by name."
Protein packs are given out to help people struggling in the cold.
"There are places, like, a year ago that would be available to them," said Lisa Long, executive director of the Samaritan Centre. "Public spaces are not open the way they were a year ago, and so our clients are spending a lot more time outside than ever and so we know there is a need for extra protein."
The new position at the Samaritan Centre was made possible through federal government emergency funding in response to the pandemic.
"Deep in the weeds of this pandemic, 10 months in, they are missing the sense of community and it's unfortunate," Long said. "There is nothing we can do right now to address that as far as having people inside our facility. So we are trying to go out and meet people where they are at."
People wanting to make donations are asked to call the Samaritan Centre first.
Items needed right now include baby wipes, meal replacement drinks, coffee cards, warm clothing and boots, which must be brand new due to COVID-19 precautions.