As we reflect on 2020, it’s safe to say, it has been a year unlike any other.
This year marked the beginning of a new era for Ometz, as a new CEO was named and two major initiatives, L’Annexe and Clinique entourfamille were poised to launch. The pandemic became a fourth factor, that presented numerous unprecedented challenges for us all. Indeed, when lockdowns first began none of us could have anticipated what lay ahead.
But before we knew it, hours turned into days. Those days turned into weeks. Then months. And here we are now, over one year later and counting–doing what we do best: reaching out to the community—being there to respond, to listen and to provide comfort. That help just looks a little different these days and we are so incredibly proud of our devoted staff, volunteers, dedicated Board, donors and loyal partners for stepping up, adapting to this ‘new normal’ and moving ahead.
There is no doubt, the pandemic has been disruptive for us all. It has forced us to pivot in ways we never thought possible. From prioritizing service responses, Zoom meetings, home offices, virtual visits, online workshops and events—these have all been learning curves. This past year has completely altered the way we live, plan, interact, and work.
And many members of the community have been severely affected—and continue to deal with isolation, anxiety, loss and depression. For some, difficult situations have only become harder over time. In 2020, the pandemic exponentially increased issues related to social isolation and economic insecurity, highlighting increased need for support—in particular around mental health. It exacerbated parental fatigue and anxiety and put children at additional risk, particularly those struggling academically and socially. It exposed the financial and skills-related gap between our most vulnerable clients and the technology that connects them to much-needed services and social supports.
But while this has been a challenging time for the community and for Ometz, it is also a time of opportunity. We believe there is every reason to be hopeful.
In this period of social distancing, quarantining, and Zoom, we are dedicated to maintaining our connection to community and to our clients. We are committed to leading through the COVID-19 crisis and recovery—strengthening our agency, building on our strong foundation by planning for the future and enhancing our position as a vital and relevant Montreal organization. And we could not have done it without our partnerships, which have been critical to our ability to respond to the pandemic and will be key in our work to create a stronger, more integrated and impactful human service agency.
It is said that “a community is too heavy to carry alone.” At Ometz, we are reminded of this every day and are proud of the way we have been there for each other and our community.
We appreciate your ongoing commitment to Ometz and those we serve—it is your support and dedication that makes Ometz such a special place.
Some highlights from the past year: