Dear Mission Possible Supporters,
It seems everywhere we turn, there is more anxiety-fuelling news about COVID-19. We at Mission Possible wanted to give our valued supporters an update about what we are doing to protect the well-being of our associates, staff, and community members.
We want to assure you that we take seriously the need to protect the Downtown Eastside. Many of our associates and community members deal with ongoing health issues that make them more vulnerable to the virus, and that socio-economic factors make it difficult to take individual action, such as self-isolating and regular hand-washing. For these reasons we must promote collective action to take care of each other in these times. We encourage everyone to take care of others where they can, trading panic for compassion and individual mindsets for community care.
Our MP Neighbours team has recently extended their neighbourhood watch hours, now working until 10:00 p.m. instead of typical business hours to provide additional support to the community in the evening. We are also exploring other innovative ways to help flatten the curve and help those that live and work in the Downtown Eastside be equipped with the knowledge they need to avoid infection. We are encouraged by the extent of collaboration and ingenuity taking place across organizations and government to support our community members, and we are grateful to be part of a larger coordinated response.
Despite having to reduce the work being done through MP Maintenance, we plan to continue to compensate our associates during this time of flux. We would be incredibly grateful for contributions that can assist us in continuing to pay these wages through to the end of their transitional work term. The vast majority do not qualify for the unemployment programs being implemented by the government, and even if they do, they do not have cash reserves to wait until those benefits are in place. As some of the food programs and other supports have been reduced in the Downtown Eastside due to COVID-19, our associates rely even more on the wages they earn to provide for their needs.
We are also continuing to provide meals on Saturdays out of our Powell Street location. However, rather than a sit-down breakfast for 100, we are now providing a hot breakfast to-go for about 150 people each weekend. These costly endeavours will continue as long as we are able, and we could use your support in ensuring that they do not cease based on funding. Donations can be made here on our website.
Work on our new building is still moving along, and is still on schedule for completion by the end of April 2020. This will allow us to be ready to fully resume our operations when this current challenge is over and we are once again operating at full capacity. If you are interested in being a part of Mission Possible’s future, please head to www.mpmoves.ca to make a contribution.
We hope you and your loved ones are healthy, and we hope that you will help us keep our neighbours safe. Thank you all for your continued support of Mission Possible and our Downtown Eastside community.
Executive Director and CEO