Wow! What a year! We closed for March Break and have not been able to resume our drop-in yet. We are still working, but have rearranged our processes during the pandemic.
As you may know, we can get quite busy at our sites with people dropping in with their kids and friends and family. Being able to operate the drop-in safely in our space requirements and compliant with the Durham Public Health requirements is virtually impossible.
Initially we were able to resume with porch pickup and have been able to open up to clients to access our help directly on an individual basis through appointments only.
We have had to reduce the number of volunteers we have working as we need to keep our numbers down on the sites. So it is not like pre-pandemic times.
What have we noticed? We are getting a lot of calls requesting abortion. We do not advocate for abortion or recommend it, but people google us and the calls come. People are afraid. Although we have always seen this at the Centre, it is especially pronounced right now.
We have continued to experience the support of our pray-ers. Our prayer letter goes out biweekly through email. Our clients are struggling with unemployment, poor health, relationship problems and a whole lot of fear. The confidence of your prayers is one of the things we can assure our clients of in these difficult times.
In all of this, we have decided to close our Bowmanville site as we need to reposition for the future. We did not see the client flow that we were hoping for at this site. We are anticipating a staffing change (a parental leave) and it is difficult to hire in the absence of our school program this year. Although we have had requests to provide an online version of our
Bold program, we feel this will undermine it’s interactive and engaging nature.
It has been challenging for the staff and for our volunteers. We would appreciate it if you could remember them in your prayers as we do want to share God’s love in a frightened world (I John 4:18 - perfect love casts out fear).
As another impact, we have had to cancel our Friends of the PHC dinner. This is our annual fundraiser where we join together to eat a great meal, hear about the status of the ministry, and learn about relevant issues to the PHC. We don't engage in a lot of fundraising and we are so thankful for those people who have chosen to support us regularly.
Your commitment to the ministry has allowed us to keep going through all of these changes.
For a while, our donations of supplies were restricted as we were unable to distribute soft goods safely. As such, we weren’t taking any donations initially However, since we have opened up our sites, we are receiving donations again.
Christmas is coming and we do want to bless our clients regardless of what’s happening.. We will need your help to do that. Our response and plans will depend on your response.
So that is our update. We are receiving calls daily and we continue to keep helping and loving as much as possible. We know that this to will come to an end, but until then, thank you for standing with us.
Kathy Michel, MA