FILE – Volunteers during the 2017 homeless count in Surrey. (Black Press Media)

FILE – Volunteers during the 2017 homeless count in Surrey. (Black Press Media)

Group helping Metro Vancouver homeless announces pandemic preparations

The organization’s six-phase pandemic plan was created in 2009 as a response to the H1N1 flu outbreak

A group that feeds and shelters some of Metro Vancouver’s most vulnerable residents says there’s no sign of the novel coronavirus in the homeless community, but it’s still launching a preparedness plan.

A statement from the Union Gospel Mission says its clients would be among the “hardest hit” if a widespread outbreak happens in Metro Vancouver.

Spokesman Jeremy Hunka says the organization’s six-phase pandemic plan was created in 2009 as a response to the H1N1 flu outbreak.

He says some measures have been put in place, including creation of an emergency management team and stepping up sanitation and education.

Tours of organization’s facilities are also to be stopped.

Further steps could include suspending or changing some non-essential services, such as offering hot meals to go rather than serving them in a cafeteria.

The Union Gospel Mission, which has seven locations in Metro Vancouver and Mission, provides everything from emergency shelters to meals, counselling, addiction recovery and career development.

Hunka says the organization wants to be ready to help those already at risk.

“While there are more cases locally and a pandemic has now been declared, B.C. numbers (of COVID-19) are still quite low in Metro Vancouver compared to other parts of the world,” Hunka said in the statement Thursday.

“We want to be responsive and prepared in case of an emergency, and also wise and impactful.”

READ MORE: Soap and hot water in short supply for Langley’s homeless during coronavirus outbreak

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The annual West Coast Christmas Show is normally held at Tradex in Abbotsford, but this year’s event is taking place as an online shop. (Abbotsford News file photo)
West Coast Christmas Show goes virtual for 2020

Annual event, normally held at Tradex in Abbotsford, holds online shop

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
UPDATE: Tabor Home records 16 deaths and 124 COVID-19 cases

63 per cent of residents at Abbotsford long-term-care facility have tested positive

There are 32 active outbreaks in seniors' homes in the Fraser Health region.
MAP: 32 active COVID-19 outbreaks in Fraser Health seniors’ homes

There are 32 active outbreaks in assisted-living, long-term care homes and seniors’ rental buildings

The Abbotsford Sports Hall of Fame is looking for nominations for its 2021 class.
Abbotsford Sports Hall of Fame seeking nominations for 2021 class

Doubleheader Celebration of Sports event aiming to occur when people can gather

Police seized two fake guns and a knife on Saturday along Gladys Avenue in east Abbotsford.
Man arrested in Abbotsford after having fake gun for second time this year

Officers respond to all firearm calls as if the guns are real, police say

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Beaver Creek RCMP Cpl. Robert Drapeau, left to right, Gary Bath, Lynn Marchessault, Payton Marchessault, Rebecca Marchessault and Tim Marchessault pose in this recent handout photo near the Canada-U.S. border crossing near Beaver Creek, Yukon. A family reunion trip for the woman from Georgia that left them stranded ended on a bright note when Bath drove them to the Alaskan border following an appeal for help. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Gary Bath *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Help from B.C. man allows American family to reunite in Alaska

Lynn Marchessault drove from Georgia to the Alaska border to join her husband, who serves in U.S. military

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Most Read