Well, what a different world we live in today!

Covid 19 has changed the entire world. And what a difficult change. In times of trouble and uncertainty, our natural instinct is to come together, embrace those we love and hold them close. To extend our hands to our friends and neighbors, to share what we have with those who do not- to come together in community. This epidemic has turned all of that on its head. We’ve been asked to stay apart, don’t touch each other. Don’t visit your loved ones or neighbors- keep them safe. Don’t touch things others have touched.  So we have all had to re-think how we support each other, and show how we care for each other, how we create a caring community.

The Access Centre has been a place where the most vulnerable have been welcomed, treated with respect and acceptance- where they’ve been made to feel they matter, that their concerns are heard , and solutions are diligently searched for The staff  have always been caring, compassionate, resourceful. With these new Covid restrictions in place ,we have had to make changes to how we do this, with staff providing most services by telephone.  Our tax volunteers have worked very hard at finding a way to continue to offer income tax services to our clients in a way that is respectful, and safe as possible for both clients and volunteers, and we are finding ways to gradually welcome people into the office in a way that is safe for everyone. As the province moves to open up more services, and allow more contacts, we need to remember that many people are still very vulnerable, and that everyone has a different tolerance for risk. We will need to slowly discover what works, and what does not.

Over the next few months, we will continue to work at finding ways to provide that caring assistance the Centre has been known for, while still ensuring that we are doing so in a way that is as safe as possible for everyone. Please be patient with the changes. As Dr. Bonnie says, we want to be safe, as well as kind.

-Elmie Saaltink

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