COVID-19 – Bruce House Programs and Services

UPDATE – MARCH 16, 2020

Effective immediately, and until further notice, Bruce House is consolidating services to ensure that our clients continue to receive the support they need while protecting the health of our staff, volunteers, clients, and community.

Our service delivery will be changed as follows:

Client Services From Our Office

  • Client services from our Bank St. office will only be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am-5pm.

Outreach Services

  • Outreach services provided by staff will continue, with an increase in email and telephone support in recognition of the reduced office hours.

In order to protect everyone’s health, we have also taken the following steps:

  • All group events are cancelled.
  • Visitors to our office will be limited to the lobby area, and only staff will be allowed into the Pantry Program space.
  • We will increase cleaning of high-traffic areas.
  • To protect our volunteers, non-essential volunteer services have been interrupted.

We thank everyone for their understanding and acknowledge that limiting office service hours will cause difficulties for some clients.  We want to reassure everyone that we will continue to assist with food (Pantry Program, gift cards); travel assistance; outreach support; and practical supports. Our staff will continue to work full time from home, from the office, and out supporting clients.

Bruce House will continue to monitor the situation and follow the recommendations of Ottawa Public Health and other authorities.  We are proactively making plans should any of our clients be required to self-isolate, be diagnosed with COVID-19, or should the current situation worsen.

This situation is very stressful for everyone.  If you or someone you know could benefit from mental health support please contact the Distress Centre Ottawa and Region at 613-238-3311, 24/7.

Ottawa Public Health is your best source for updates – https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca

Kindness, patience, and care will see us all through this difficult time.

Best wishes from Bruce House.


ORIGINAL POST March 12, 2020

Bruce House is closely monitoring the developing COVID-19 situation.  We will be following guidelines released by Ottawa Public Health and other authorities and reviewing the situation on a day-by-day basis.

As of now, all Bruce House programs and services will continue to operate as normal, including client events.  These are essential to the health and wellness of our clients.

We have plans in place should the situation change.  These plans include consolidating services to 2 or 3 days per week, cancelling group events, and creating emergency kits with food and toiletries for our clients.  We are also examining all options for the clients we support through our outreach work, should they be required to self-isolate, be unable to access services, or be unable to get food or medicines.

We ask everyone to please follow best practices, as you would during flu season.  Ottawa Public Health is your best source for updates – https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca

From Ottawa Public Health:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just cleaned your hands
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand
  • If possible, stay home if you are sick
  • Avoid visiting people in hospitals or long-term care centres if you are sick
  • It is still recommended to get your flu shot if you haven’t already as the flu virus is still circulating in the community