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Homeless Amid COVID Video Series

Edmonton’s Collaborative Response

In March 2020, when Alberta issued a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses and organizations shut their doors or reduced their capacity to accommodate physical distancing.

What happened next was an extraordinary example of collaboration between Boyle Street and our incredible partners to serve our city’s most vulnerable during a time of crisis. With help from the City of Edmonton, Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services, we opened the Edmonton EXPO Centre as a single location where people experiencing homelessness could go to access programs and services in a safe environment.

This video series tells the story of our community coming together to protect people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Episode 1: The Day Services

Take a tour through the Day Drop-in located at the Edmonton Expo Centre to learn about the critical services provided and how collaboration has kept people safe and supported through the pandemic.

One of the great examples of our community collaboration down here is this area, where many of the agencies provide (services such as) community closet, taxes, and housing supports. We've all brought our services from our centres, basically providing a one-stop shop."
-Scarlet Bjornson, Bissell Centre

Episode 2: The Isolation Centre

Take a walk through the Isolation Shelter, a temporary facility that was set up to provide screening, testing, health services and self-isolation space for Edmonton’s most vulnerable people during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

"A lot of our population that experiences homelessness here in Edmonton already carry a heavy burden of illness, a heavy burden of past and current psychological trauma. And so, the pandemic created another barrier to keeping themselves safe and healthy."
-Dr. Francesco Mosaico, Boyle McCauley Health Centre

Episode 3: A Way Home

In the third episode of this series, we hear from Rob, a Drop-In Centre program participant, about his recent journey accessing services, support and ultimately being housed during the pandemic.

If it wasn't for the housing assistance that I found here, I would still be struggling and homeless and I'd have a couple young kids growing up with a lot less time with their dad... I got to tell my kids we have a place to live."
-Rob, Drop-In Centre program participant