Author Archives: Port Cares

Important Information For All Staff and Volunteers – COVID 19 COMMUNIQUE # 15 Week 4

Wednesday, April 1, 2020  

PLEASE NOTE ***PLEASE NOTE THAT if you are experiencing fever, have a cough and or difficulty breathing we ask that you stay home and contact your manager to advise them of your illness. If you are working another job currently and coming into work premises we would kindly ask that you jointly advise your manager and HR.  It’s hump day Port Cares Team members and it’s a beautiful spring day – but please more than ever exercise your responsibility to stay home if you are not an ESSENTIAL WORKER. I want to give a BIG SHOUT OUT to all our ESSENTIAL WORKERS who are on the frontlines of supporting the vulnerable people we serve. There are no changes to our services for today – we are waiting at this time for updates from our program which we will share tomorrow so hang in there! Let’s all do our part and follow the public health orders. Stay well !

Christine

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT COVID 19 for STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS – COMMUNIQUE #14 – Week 4

Tuesday, March 31, 2020  

PLEASE NOTE ***For all employees and volunteers PLEASE NOTE THAT if you are experiencing fever, have a cough and or difficulty breathing we ask that you stay home and contact your manager to advise them of your illness. If you are working another job currently and coming into work premises we would kindly ask that you jointly advise your manager and HR.  Hello all … just a brief note to all – there are no NEW changes to Port Cares services and operations. Our ROC provided hot meals to 60 people last night – we’ve been busy at 92 Charlotte assisting people with concerns – mostly trustees and individuals needing help with securing income supports. Also already today … we’ve had caring citizens drop off financial donations to assist us in continuing to run our ROC services – truly appreciated.

We will continue to monitor developments locally and provincially. We understand that there will be an announcement later today extending the period for the state of emergency in Ontario. We will keep you posted.

STAY WELL – STAY HOME if you can,

Christine Clark LaFleur

Executive Director

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT COVID 19 for STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS – COMMUNIQUE #13 – Week 4

Monday, March 30, 2020

PLEASE NOTE ***For all employees and volunteers PLEASE NOTE THAT if you are experiencing fever, have a cough and or difficulty breathing we ask that you stay home and contact your manager to advise them of your illness. If you are working another job currently and coming into work premises we would kindly ask that you jointly advise your manager and HR.

Today marks the 4th consecutive week of our vigilance with COVID 19. Our essential services are running well and I want to personally thank everyone who have and continue to pitch in terminally cleaning our various sites. There is only one change to our services – food bank distribution hours are now 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Now more than ever before we need everyone to be VIGILANT. I am sharing remarks from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health which were issued earlier today:

Everyone has a role to play in reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19 – there is no option for anyone to opt out. The lives of many Ontarians, especially our community’s most vulnerable citizens, is in your hands and will depend on your actions over the coming days and weeks. I strongly recommend you and other members of your household stay home except for essential reasons, such as to:

  • Access health care services;
  • Shop for groceries;
  • Pick-up medication at the pharmacy;
  • Walk pets when required; and
  • Support vulnerable community members with meeting the above needs.

To the fullest extent possible, you should also limit the number of these essential trips. However, when you are out in public you must adhere to physical distancing by reducing your exposure to other people outside of your household by keeping two metres from other people. Given the greater risk of severe outcomes to Ontarians who are elderly, I am also strongly recommending that individuals over 70 years of age self-isolate. This means only leaving home or seeing other people for essential reasons. Where possible, you should seek services over the phone or internet or ask for help from friends, family or neighbours with essential errands. This also applies to individuals who have compromised immune systems and/or underlying medical conditions. As we have been saying repeatedly, it is critically important to wash your hands regularly (or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available), practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette, and avoid direct contact when greeting people.  

STAY WELL ALL …

Christine Clark LaFleur

Executive Director

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT COVID 19 for STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS – COMMUNIQUE #12 – Week 3

Friday, March 27, 2020

PLEASE NOTE ***For all employees and volunteers PLEASE NOTE THAT if you are experiencing fever, have a cough and or difficulty breathing we ask that you stay home and contact your manager to advise them of your illness. If you are working another job currently and coming into work premises we would kindly ask that you jointly advise your manager and HR.

As we mark the end of this third week of continuous COVID 19 precautions I can share that there are NO NEW CHANGES for our service delivery today. All services changes made since the outbreak remain in place.

For all of our wonderful staff working from home – you must remain working from home. Please do not come into the workplace without the consent of your Manager who will then secure the consent of the consent of the Executive Director. Especially for through to April 6th we need to be more vigilant than ever – this heightened level of vigilance may be extended by government officials as COVID 19 spread escalates.

Stay safe and stay well.

Christine Clark LaFleur

Executive Director

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT COVID 19 for STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS – COMMUNIQUE #11 – Week 3

Thursday, March 26, 2020

PLEASE NOTE ***For all employees and volunteers PLEASE NOTE THAT if you are experiencing fever, have a cough and or difficulty breathing we ask that you stay home and contact your manager to advise them of your illness. If you are working another job currently and coming into work premises we would kindly ask that you jointly advise your manager and HR.

We continue to hold our own in the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic. Thank you to all our team members who are going above and beyond to keep our essential services running at 92 Charlotte and 61 Nickel as well as our EarlyON crew members who are deep cleaning the closed sites.

We are receiving support from the community and truly appreciate these efforts in our time of need.

There are NO NEW CHANGES for our services today. All changes made since the outbreak remain in place.

Christine Clark LaFleur

Executive Director

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT COVID 19 for STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS – COMMUNIQUE #9 – Week 3

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

PLEASE NOTE ***For all employees and volunteers PLEASE NOTE THAT if you are experiencing fever, have a cough and or difficulty breathing we ask that you stay home and contact your manager to advise them of your illness.

Port Cares has been deemed an ESSENTIAL SERVICE by the Government of Ontario and as such will remain open over the next 14 days.

While our 92 Charlotte site remains open it is on limited capacity for : a) Client Services – homelessness, housing, trusteeship  and poverty relief walk-in visits – although the majority of our contacts with clients – especially housing is being conducted over the phone. b) Employment Services and Youth Job Connection – with the majority of services being provided over the phone or online there are still some clients presenting in person. Clients coming into 92 Charlotte can only enter two feet into the main lobby to ensure there is physical distancing from our receptionist. Our team members then come out to the lobby to attend to the client’s needs. Since Monday we have seen a dramatic decrease in the number of people coming into the building although we are fielding a tremendous number of calls at the front desk on a daily basis.

Our Reach Out Centre remains in operation as a distribution service for food bank and meal program. Clients are being provided with pre-packed meals and groceries during program hours. Yesterday 48 people were provided groceries through the food bank and 39 hot nutritious meals were served.

Our EarlyON centres remain closed to the public.

HERE ARE CHANGES EFFECTIVE TODAY …

  • The Reach Out Centre is closed on Tuesdays and Fridays – which are not program days – a portable pod for storage has been delivered to the ROC so that non-perishable food donations can still be dropped off at the centre –  we ask donors to follow the instructions posted and drop donations in the pod where we can hold the donations for 48 hours before bringing them into the centre.

WE cannot stress enough the following …. Please please please follow Public Health directives – FOLLOW PHYSICAL DISTANCING – limit your travel, wash your hands and isolate if you have any symptoms. The number of cases and the transmission of COVID 19 will escalate in coming days – we need everyone to stay safe so we can continue to help the vulnerable.

Christine Clark LaFleur

Executive Director

Service Updates Effective Tuesday, March 24

Important Information about COVID-19 and Port Cares

Port Colborne, Ontario (March 24, 2020)

Donations

  • Food donations are being accepted at local grocery stores: Food Basics, No Frills and Sobey’s
  • The Reach Out Centre (61 Nickel Street, Port Colborne) can accept food donations on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Please place food donations in the bin provided in the parking lot
  • Monetary donations can be made online at www.portcares.ca, through the mail or in person at 92 Charlotte Street; Monday to Friday between 8:30am-4:30pm
  • Most needed items: Ready to eat foods (pull-tab cans), hygiene products, toilet paper, canned fruit, canned fish, canned meat, canned pasta, side dishes, dry soup, peanut butter, diapers size 4 & 5

Reach Out Centre

  • The Reach Out Centre is closed until further notice on Tuesdays and Fridays
  • Food Bank clients will be provided with pre-packed groceries. The Food Bank store will be closed for client shopping and clients presenting at the Reach Out Centre Food Bank will receive their pre-packed groceries at the entry door once they have sanitized
  • The Reach Out Centre Dining Hall is closed until further notice. Pre-packaged nutritious take out meals will be provided to registered clients. Clients can come to pick up meals on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.  

Employment Ontario

  • There will be no in-person appointments for the time being. All scheduled appointments will take place over the phone or online
  • The Summer Job Fair, previously scheduled for March 26th, has been postponed to a date unknown. Staff are available by phone and email to assist with recruitment and job search needs. You can also visit our job board at www.pcworksemployment.ca

Client Services and Trusteeships

  • The Income Tax Clinic has been put on hold – all individual appointments will resume at future notice
  • 92 Charlotte St. providing essential services only, defined as Trusteeship and Homelessness Services

EarlyON Family and Child Centres

  • Port Cares, in compliance with direction from the Region of Niagara’s Childrens’ Services Department, has temporality closed its six EarlyON Centres located across the region

Other

  • The 11th Annual Soupfest, previously scheduled for Thursday, April 2nd has been postponed

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT COVID 19 for STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS – COMMUNIQUE #8 – Week 3

Monday, March 23, 2020

PLEASE NOTE ***For all employees and volunteers PLEASE NOTE THAT if you are experiencing fever, have a cough and or difficulty breathing we ask that you stay home and contact your manager to advise them of your illness.

We are just learning of new measures being announced by the Government of Ontario to close all non-essential businesses and services. Right now we continue to operate 92 Charlotte site on essential services only – trusteeship and homelessness and essential services at the Reach Out Centre – food bank and meal pick up only. We are operating with only a skeleton staff in the buildings.

Please follow Public Health directives – FOLLOW PHYSICAL DISTANCING – limit your travel, wash your hands and isolate if you have any symptoms.

CHANGES FOR TODAY …

  • Reach  Out Centre Wednesday Meal program moves to dinner time from lunch time to give staff at the centre a break  – this change gives our team a well deserved break by taking the pressure off of having to cook and serve at the same time food bank is operating.
  • We now have a storage pod on site at the Reach Out Centre in the parking lot where our gracious donors can drop off non-perishables including toilet paper – we are holding the non-perishable donations in the storage pod for 24 hours before bringing them in the building to prevent transference of COVID 19 from donations into the building and to our team.
  • REMINDER to be assured that no clients or visitors are being permitted past the chain in the front lobby at 92 Charlotte – as well no clients or visitors are permitted into the Reach Out Centre.
  • There may be more cancellations – we will learn more through the day and into tonight.

I want to thank everyone on the Port Cares team and a shout out to our dear Vera who is handling the front with grace and influence! Please know that Vera is fully equipped with personal protective gear.

Hang in there, colleagues.

Christine Clark Lafleur

Executive Director

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT COVID 19 for STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS – COMMUNIQUE #8 – Week 2

Thursday, March 19, 2020

AGAIN PLEASE NOTE ***For all employees and volunteers who are deemed ESSENTIAL WORKERS  if you are experiencing fever, a cough and or difficulty breathing we ask that you STAY HOME and contact your manager to advise them of your illness.

There are  only a few NEW changes effective today for the operation of Port Cares essential services – at 92 Charlotte and the Reach Out Centre – ( all EarlyON sites remain closed ).

  • Employment Ontario staff will be rotating their attendance in office – most staff will be working from home to reduce the number of individuals congregating at 92 Charlotte.
  • All staff have now been assigned to one work location ONLY – NO STAFF MEMBERS will be working out of our two operating locations. To be clear we will be delivering supplies between 92 Charlotte and ROC but will not be going into the building that is not their PRIMARY site. Christine Clark Lafleur and Sarah Eller–  should there be an exceptional circumstance — will be the only two Port Cares employees permitted into both buildings. Christine will be the primary lead at 92 Charlotte and Sarah the lead at ROC.
  • Frontline workers at 92 Charlotte and ROC have been provided with FACE SHIELDS and GLOVES and are required to wear them when serving clients during a) food bank pre-packed grocery distribution b)take-out meal distribution at ROC and c) assisting walk-in into the main lobby at 92 Charlotte.
  • All walk-in clients to 92 Charlotte will be served in the MAIN LOBBY by the Trustee or Housing Worker on site – no one will be permitted entry past the main lobby.
  • Terminal Cleaning continues at 92 Charlotte.

We’re also in the midst of making contingency arrangements to safely receive the wonderful food donations that are coming forward from the community. We are arranging for the rental of a walk-in storage pod where we can hold donations for 48 hours before safely bringing the non-perishable donations into ROC.

Thanks EVERBODY .. we are going to get through this all TOGETHER !!!!!!

Christine Clark Lafleur

Executive Director, Port Cares

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT COVID 19 for STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS – COMMUNIQUE #7 – Week 2

Thursday, March 19, 2020

AGAIN PLEASE NOTE ***For all employees and volunteers PLEASE NOTE THAT if you are experiencing fever, have a cough and or difficulty breathing we ask that you stay home and contact your manager to advise them of your illness.

Here are the NEW changes today for the operation of Port Cares services – services at 92 Charlotte and the Reach Out Centre remain focussed on ESSENTIAL SERVICES only and all EarlyON sites remain closed.

  • Employment Ontario staff will be rotating their attendance in office and working from home to reduce the number of individuals congregating at 92 Charlotte.
  • EarlyON team members are being assigned to specific site locations to inventory and clean during the current 3 week closure – a team of 3 are assisting daily at the Reach Out Centre cleaning and packing groceries for the Food Bank. We have initiated this new practice to eliminate travel between and into sites.
  • Social distancing protocols are in place for meetings  – please use the Group Room for meetings greater than 5 people.
  • Terminal Cleaning continues at 92 Charlotte and should be completed by the end of the week.

Reminders from yesterday ….

  • 92 Charlotte is providing ESSENTIAL SERVICES ONLY —  defined as TRUSTEESHIP and HOMELESS SERVICES;
  • Employment Ontario services are being provided online and over the phone;
  • Effective immediately all travel between 92 Charlotte and the Reach Out Centre is RESTRICTED – only those staff who have the approval of the Executive Director will be permitted to travel between these to sites.  This is vital to preventing community spread over the course of the next few weeks.

Keep your chins up ALL … we are going to get through this together …

Christine Clark Lafleur

Executive Director, Port Cares