Message to our Friends
We hope this finds you safe and well.
It has been a month since we last were in touch and shared an update.
We want to first thank you for your many kind expressions of support as we continue to focus on meeting the needs of the vulnerable throughout this pandemic.
Your encouragement bolsters our resolve and reminds us of the strength of our unparalleled community.
Increased Need and Response
These days, Ometz professionals are in touch with our clients more than ever. In fact, the month of April saw an over 40% increase in client contacts across all of our points of service. We are also responding to a wave of mental health related issues brought on by prolonged isolation and anxiety, noting a 77% increase in contacts (compared with the same period last year) with our current clients who are challenged by significant and chronic mental illness. These individuals, already dealing with isolation and marginalization, are particularly vulnerable in these difficult times.
In addition, since March 23, the community’s Helpline, co-established and staffed in concert with the Cummings Centre responded to over 2,450 calls—many from people who had never reached out before.
Advocating for Our Vulnerable, Together
We have helped our clients access all available public programs, advocating to ensure they get the assistance they need. And while they were waiting for public financial aid to commence, we were there to provide additional help for their basic needs.
It is thanks to your unwavering support that Ometz is able to respond to escalating demand for services and remain steadfast at the front-lines of this fight.
While we all eagerly await the time when we will resume some of our regular activities, Ometz staff continues to provide those in need with resources, social supports and encouragement.
Chance to Shine later this year
With Federation CJA leading the community’s COVID-19 related fundraising efforts, we have made the decision to postpone our No Show Chance to Shine fundraising campaign until later this year. As a beneficiary of Federation CJA, we embrace the Federation led campaign, which is so vital to our clients, our community and our collective recovery. (https://www.federationcja.org/en/covid19-coronavirus-resources/donations/)
Thinking of You
This has been a challenging time for all of us—as we enter our third month of social distancing it goes without saying that the effects of this pandemic are far-reaching on many levels. We continue to wish you safety and health, and leave you with this link to a recent Symposium on Mental Health Awareness during which Ometz provided a professional overview of anxiety—particularly relevant during these times, as well as our service response to the community. (Our contribution appears at the 1 hour 9 minute mark.)
With profound gratitude,
Chief Executive Officer, Ometz
1 Cummings Square
5151 Côte Ste-Catherine Road
Montreal, Quebec H3W 1M6