Vulnerable populations using the Women’s Resource Society are struggling due to the viral panic surrounding COVID-19, says the organization’s executive director Amanda Trotter.
“People are frustrated. They’re battling right now. We’re starting to see how difficult it is for people to navigate the system for EI and social assistance,” said Trotter, adding many clients do not have access to a computer or the internet.
Trotter also noted that violence and violence against women has increased since measures to combat COVID-19 were enacted.
“Relationships are falling apart. Mental health challenges are a real concern for our clients, people are not used to being isolated. They are afraid and need people to talk to,” said Trotter of social distancing, and noted the society is focusing efforts on promoting crisis lines.
While access to the centre is being restricted, clients continue to use the society’s resources: 104 stopped by for food last week.
Making sure clients have access to food is a critical need, says Trotter, who expects to see a growing number of those needing assistance.
“We’ve also found that donations have dropped off dramatically,” said Trotter, adding that volunteers are being sought to deliver goods directly to those need, while reducing foot traffic.
Despite the challenges, Trotter says the organization will keep its doors open.
“We can’t be everywhere, we’re a tiny organization, there’s only four of us. But we’re all still here and doing the very best we can,” said Trotter.
Crisis Support Phone Lines
Crisis Centre - 1-800-784-2433
Crisis Line - 1-888-562-1214
Youth Line - 1-88-564-8336
Kids Helpline - 1-800-668-6868
Support Crisis Line - 1-866-925-4410
Legal Aid - 250-785-8089
Crisis Text Line
for hearing impaired - Text HOME to 686868
Email reporter Tom Summer at email@example.com.