MARCH 19 UPDATE: Out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of keeping our clients and employees as safe as possible, we are temporarily closing our office at 675 Queen Street effective March 20 until further notice. We believe it to be critical for us all to do our part in order to fight the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve of this pandemic.
At Reception House Waterloo Region, it is our vision that all refugees coming to Waterloo Region have a successful settlement experience, fully integrate, and become accepted and welcomed members of the community. For almost 35 years, our Mission and Vision has served us well through numerous challenges and successes, and we hope to continue responding in a similar way in these changing and challenging times.
As I’m sure you know, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11, and Kitchener-Waterloo has had eight cases as of March 15.
In response to the increasing risks to public health due to COVID-19, and in an effort to minimize the threat of community transmission as well as following the example of schools in Ontario, we are moving to a modified level of service as of March 16. This will be in place for a period of three weeks.
Here is what will change:
- The temporary residence at 101 David Street will be closed to the public. Core services for clients will continue on a modified service delivery basis.
- The Administrative Office at 675 Queen Street South will continue operations. Clients and guests are asked to call or email ahead for appointments (519-743-0445 and firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Volunteer programs, internships and student placements conducted at both of our locations are postponed during this time.
- Our youth program, New Canadian Youth Connections, is postponed during this time.
- Volunteers in our Family Partnership Program and English Outreach are encouraged to follow good health practices, including social distancing.
The health and wellbeing of our clients, volunteers and staff are our top priority. We urge everyone to remain vigilant and follow all Public Health guidance.
We encourage residents to stay informed about the virus by visiting the Region of Waterloo Public Health webpage. This helps keep people up to date on how many positive cases have been detected in the Region, what facilities and programs have been closed and cancelled and what measures people should take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 .
In addition, the Ontario Ministry of Health has prepared an information Sheet on COVID-19 and translated it into 23 other languages including French, Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, Hindi and Italian. The Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre has translated it into two additional languages: Tigrinya and Amharic. This info sheet shares important information about how you can protect yourself, what are the COVID-19 symptoms and what to do if you are sick after travelling.
Check out the Coronavirus updates across the country by visiting the Public Health Agency of Canada webpage.
Thank you for your continued support.
CEO, Reception House Waterloo Region