The following is our third update to inform you on how Chez Doris is managing under the current COVID-19 reality.
Since March 17, we remain committed to helping the most vulnerable: homeless women. Our services are now temporarily limited to breakfast and lunch, take-out dinners, respite beds, emergency clothing, showers, hygiene products, access to caseworkers and services from our Cheque Administration Program. With our new protocols of only accepting 40 women in the house at a time, it is quite remarkable that we have seen 125 different homeless women in just under 30 days!
Many of the homeless women begin to line up on our doorstep regardless of the weather an hour prior to our opening at 8:30 AM. We are now focused on supporting the most marginalized women, but also those who have had bad luck and terrible timing. 47% of whom sleep outside, in apartment garages, in bank lobbies, and at the airport. The balance sleep mostly at a temporary overflow shelter. In recent days, a variety of women with exceptionally sad stories have presented themselves to us. One is 80 years old, has a walker, and has decided to leave her seniors residence. Another senior was forced out of her apartment by her roommates as her name is not on the lease. A younger homeless woman is 5 months pregnant. All the women leave Chez Doris by 3 PM and brave the cold for 5 hours until they are accepted in a temporary shelter at 8 PM or are in the streets all night.
We are trying our best to do our part and help with the resources we have. We collaborate with other shelters to share our donated supplies. We have also begun to deliver food bags, pet food, hygiene and cleaning supplies three times a week to our most vulnerable clients in apartments. This whole experience confirms for us the great need for our future emergency shelter for homeless women and our new permanent residence.
Be safe and thank you!
President of the Board