Photo by Cherry Laithang on Unsplash

It is no secret that drug use has been on the rise in Peterborough during the COVID-19 crisis, so our most vulnerable citizens are paying the price in more ways than one. It needs to be said: Homelessness shouldn’t be a death sentence.

“People experiencing homelessness already face increased issues with their mental and physical health while dealing with the stigma that comes from homelessness,” said Anna Taylor, Director of the Brock Mission. “With limited access to services during the pandemic, especially for marginalized communities, those experiencing homelessness were disproportionally affected.”

A grant provided by the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund meant that the Brock Mission was able to hire a medical student to help educate and protect the Mission’s population. The Mission was able to train their staff in proper COVID procedures. During their only COVID outbreak, the infected individuals were identified, isolated and treated before the illness was able to spread.

Taylor said their medical student has also been working with their guests to reduce the risk of substance overdoses.

“Homelessness brings a lot of trauma with it, and we need more qualified individuals to work with our citizens to keep them calm in this time of crisis, help them access necessary services and steer them towards making positive choices in their lives.”

Lives can not only be changed, but saved, when people experiencing homelessness are shown that qualified support, like that offered at the Brock Mission, is readily available.