Visual: Megan Dowe walks down a street.
I don't think anybody could have predicted the pandemic. I definitely didn't expect to be doing this type of work.
Visual: Exterior shots of St. Paul’s-Eastern United Church.
Setting up a respite centre has its challenges but also was easy in the sense that we had facilities.
Visual: Megan Dowe on camera, various shots interior shots of St. Paul’s-Eastern United Church.
My name is Megan Dowe, I work as a booking clerk but have been reassigned as a respite centre with CSSD, and I’m a site lead at St. Paul's respite centre.
Clients were definitely excited when we opened, to come in from the cold and get warm coffee.
It was also awesome because we got to work with the community partners to be able to mitigate any of the issues that they had and get the right resources to the right people.
We are providing food, a warming space, WIFI, we have awesome staff on site to redirect some of our clients to the resources they need. We also provide just a lending hand and a listening ear.
I think the most challenging part of the job would be having to send them back into the cold in the evening, especially now it's getting much chillier, but again we're trying to find the best resources to get them into somewhere permanent.
We had a young gentleman who was at McNab and then followed us to Tom Brown and for the last week has been here at St. Paul's and we thankfully just got him a warm spot for the winter months at the Dempsey distancing shelter.
Visual: City of Ottawa logo.