Street Outreach COVID-19 Protocols

By Joan Stewart                                                                  Posted August 26, 2020

Collection of donations and preparing packages.

As of August 1st, all four Westside Anglicans Neighbourhood Ministry (WANM) churches will once again be collection sites for donations that will go toward the packages to be handed out to our neighbours on the streets.  Each church in the WANM fold (St. Anselm’s, St. Helen’s, St. Philip’s and St. John’s Shaughnessy) has approved this and put in place their own protocol as to how this will be managed. The protocol must be according to the information in this document.

It is suggested that tinned food, protein drinks, protein bars, fruit cups, and new socks, be dropped off at an outside location at each church (or a place just inside the doors if someone is in the building to receive donations).  Each church will determine the best time and method for receiving the donations.  It is recommended that the donations be sanitized (or simply left alone for 72 hours) to reduce any possibility of the spread of COVID-19.  Those people bringing in the donations must wear gloves.

Preparing Packages

Each church is responsible for preparing packages to be given out.  Each church must put in place their own protocol as to how this will be managed.

The area where the packages are prepared must be completely sanitized prior to making up the packages: the tables sprayed and wiped with anti-viral agents and all other furniture or tools needed must be treated in the same way.  It is strongly encouraged that masks and gloves be worn by the volunteers of the Indoor Team (unless they are working on their own) who place the donated items in the bags in preparation for the Outdoor Team.  These volunteers must also keep socially distanced at all times (2 metres apart) and should sanitize their hands before and after handling the donations, as well as the site area where the donations were packaged.  Their names and contact details must be recorded.

The bags should be strong bags and only contain packaged food items (no sandwiches, eggs, fresh fruit, etc at this time) and other items that will be useful to our friends on the street.  No clothing at this time except for new socks.  Ideally, all the exterior surface of the bags and the site area will be wiped with a cleaning agent after they are packed.

Point of meeting and mode of transport

August 29, 2020, is anticipated to be the first Saturday to return to our Street Outreach (this is with the approval of each church’s leadership, St. Philip’s Trustees and the Diocesan Leadership).

Outdoor Teams will meet outside at the assigned church.  They will be met by the Indoor Team or Parish representative, who will place the box of packages at the designated meeting place (which must be outside). All should be wearing masks and remain 2 metres (approximately 6 feet) apart for this exchange.

To respect physical distancing, the 2 volunteers (maximum) will need to travel in separate vehicles. The Outdoor Team volunteers must have masks and hand sanitizer with them at all times, these are to be supplied by the host church.

Handing out the supplies

Volunteers must maintain 2 metres between each other and between the clients.  Before meeting a client, volunteers must sanitize their hands and put on a mask.

Outdoor Team volunteers will be provided with extra sanitizer and masks to take with them.

For the actual hand-off, please place the bag (package) 2 metres from the recipient and then step away to allow them to pick it up. The packages are in bags and this will allow easy transfer.

After meeting with the client, and on the way back to the cars, the volunteers must sanitize their hands once again.

Please note the client’s name (first name only will suffice), time and the location where the package was given to them (for contact tracing if this is needed later).

Reporting Back

As has been done in the past, the Outdoor Team needs to report back regarding their outing via a written summation, sent to ministrymcu@gmail.com.  Please be very careful about keeping track of the names of all the clients and the specific time and location that you met with them.

Please also report back as to how things are going and how this process is working as we may need to adjust as we put these protocols into place.