Help for the homeless with SwiftScreen

Help for the homeless with SwiftScreen

When we launched the SwiftScreen back in 2020, our biggest hope was that it would do some good and help to keep people safe during an unprecedented health crisis, so we were thrilled to receive some feedback from a customer, to let us know how much of a difference this product has made to the lives of vulnerable people right here in Ontario!

Covid-19 has brought ill health, worry and loss to so many people as a direct result of illness, but what we perhaps don’t see so often is the hardship and risk that it has caused to some of society’s most vulnerable.

For those living on the streets or in marginal housing, the pandemic has brought additional difficulties with day-to-day living, piled on top of the worry about getting sick without a safe, warm place to recuperate.  Many services that usually support these groups were forced to close their doors during lockdown, leaving people living unsheltered with limited access to washrooms, showers, food and other resources.

Taking action

In recognition that COVID-19 posed unique and urgent challenges for people in need of help, a charity called Back Door Mission, located in Durham, with the support of Simcoe Street United Church, opened its available spaces to be used as a collaborative and centralized service operating as Project Mission United.

This project is a collaboration with CMHA Durham Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic, Durham Mental Health Services, Region of Durham Health Department, Housing Services Division and Social Services Department, Lakeridge Health, AIDS Committee of Durham Region, Carea Community Health Centre, John Howard Society, and a growing list of community partners.  It provides homeless people with access to hot meals, washrooms, clothing and a food pantry as well as a range of services including:

  • Multi-service navigation and assistance
  • Medical clinic (Doctor and Nurse Practitioner)
  • Crisis and mental health supports
  • Rest centre
  • Harm reduction and supplies
  • ​Withdrawal management
  • Financial assistance

Maximizing safe space

Demand for these services has been growing steadily and recently, after purchasing a number of Frontline’s SwiftScreens, the charity project was able to expand its healthcare clinic to provide even more support for the vulnerable while making sure all Covid-19 guidelines are adhered to, and optimal safety standards are achieved.

Isabelle Foley, project administrator for Mission United, told us: “We are a homeless mission and we used to have a tiny medical clinic with two small exam rooms for our patrons.  Your screens have enabled us to expand somewhat!  We now have four roomy exam rooms, a blood testing area, a Hep C testing area, and a pretty large waiting area for our patrons.

“We placed the screens together and put white duct tape on the seams to offer more privacy.   Exam beds were donated by a local clinic that was renovating.  We’ve expanded the clinic to use up 95% of the church hall and we are really making a difference now in the medical needs of Durham region’s vulnerable population. I want to thank you for your part in the realization of our medical clinic dreams!”

We’re thrilled that our SwiftScreen product is part of such a worthwhile initiative and delighted to see it working exactly as intended in this space.  To find out more about SwiftScreen or our SwiftScreen range of privacy dividers, get in touch!