Network of community-based organizations works to assist the vulnerable during COVID-19 pandemic

Helen Oliver -- one of those working with organizations to provide needed services during COVID 19 -- is pictured in self isolation with her husband Curt and children Eilish and Anouk. (Photo by Louis Oliver)

By Peter Oliver

As we isolate in our homes, trying to find meaningful ways to pass the time, it is easy to lose sight of people who lack sufficient food and shelter.  There are many of these people in our community.  Fortunately, a network of community-based organizations have been working hard to assure that the most vulnerable are cared for during the pandemic.

The Saskatoon Inter-Agency Response to COVID-19 is a new organization made up of over 40 agencies such as The Lighthouse, Friendship Inn and the Saskatoon Food Bank. They are earnestly working to reduce the number of people contracting COVID-19 in Saskatoon by helping to protect our vulnerable people and by alleviate the strain and danger experienced by volunteers and staff who serve them.

Helen Oliver is a Population Health Promotion Practitioner, with a background in epidemiology, who is working with Saskatoon Inter-Agency Response to Covid-19. She says: “The situation is changing rapidly, literally hour by hour, and there is a significant increase in needs.”

Every agency that provides service to at risk people has changed the way it delivers service.  That can mean distributing food in disposable take home containers or looking for ways to decrease the number of people in shelters by finding alternative places to house them during the epidemic.

We are grateful for the commitment of all those involved with this organization. Please stay alert to opportunities to support the work of the Saskatoon Inter-Agency Response to COVID-19.