What is your name and position at Main Street Project?
My name is Elysha. I’m a Project Breakaway Case Worker.
How have things changed in your role since COVID-19?
Our role consists of assisting community members in navigating different systems and connecting with resources. Since COVID-19, resources have become limited and social and medical systems have changed drastically. A lot of drop-ins and shelters that provide meals, clothes and a safe space are closed. Food banks are also providing limited food. It’s more challenging for community members to meet their basic needs. Many people are sleeping in bus shacks and outdoors which puts them more at risk. Our job is to make sure these individuals don’t fall through the cracks. Home care services are reduced, so we need to make sure they’re able to bathe, get their laundry done and keep their rooms tidy. Community members’ goals are being put on hold because many addiction treatment centres and housing facilities aren’t accepting new clients. This forces us to be creative in navigating a completely transformed system.
What is something you wish people understood about Main Street Project and the community that we serve?
Everyone has a story and the community members we serve are no different. There isn’t a day that goes by that they don’t make me laugh. They are kind and they will give you the shirt of their back even if it means they will go without.
What is your favourite part about working at Main Street Project?
The community members – seeing them happy when they accomplish their goals whether that’s moving into an apartment, completing detox or addiction treatment, or even writing a grocery list.
What is something nice that’s happened to you at work recently?
Seeing everyone come together as a community and working together to support one another during this chaotic time. It is so awesome.