CEO Update – April 1st, 2020

 

 

The world as we know it has changed and continues to change on a daily basis. COVID-19 has no doubt affected you and your family directly or indirectly. As a valued supporter of Catherine House we believe it is important to let you know what we are doing to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our clients, staff and volunteers at this difficult time.

 

As an organisation providing emergency accommodation and support for women experiencing homelessness across South Australia we aim to continue in line with all government recommendations. Catherine House is following advice from the Australian Government and Chief Medical Officer, SA Health and State government agencies. We are in contact with other homelessness and support services to ensure we are well informed and have the latest information to hand.

 

The current virus threat means clients need our support more than ever. Accordingly our accommodation programs continue as an essential service.

 

Outreach and support services, particularly our Women’s Centre, are an integral part of our service for our clients, particularly for their mental health and wellbeing. We are making every effort to continue these services through digital channels such as Zoom, FaceTime, Skype and the like. While this is a big adjustment for many clients, some have responded enthusiastically due to the new digital skills they are learning.

 

You will appreciate that we are trying to balance the need for social distancing and client interaction. To do this we have had to make some changes to our service provision:

 

• Outreach Support Services will now be provided by telephone instead of home visits
• Services provided at our Catherine House Women’s Centre will be provided by phone or video link where possible
• Clients will continue to receive employment and education support via phone/video conferencing

 

 

Our support services now have an increased focus on ensuring our existing hygiene and food practices are strengthened, social distancing measures are in place and we will continue to explore ways to improve our services through this time of continual change.

 

• To reduce risk we have put a temporary hold on in kind donations (toiletries, moving on packs, food, etc.) until it is safe to accept them

 

• Our volunteer program has been suspended to ensure the health and safety of our volunteers

• Our upcoming Quiz Night has been postponed

• All other fundraising events are currently under review

 

We continue to make difficult decisions but ones that we feel are absolutely necessary to ensure the health and safety of everyone at Catherine House and our valued supporters.

 

One thing I know about Catherine House is that we have a wonderful community that genuinely cares for women who so bravely walk through our doors. We are so grateful to have your support.

 

I will keep you informed about what we are doing to ensure Catherine House continues to provide care and support for clients.

 

Please know you are in our thoughts and together we will get through this.

 

 

 

Please take care,

 

Linda Matthews
Chief Executive Officer
Catherine House Inc

 

 

COVID- 19 Mental Health Support – March 31st, 2020

 

If you need support please contact the SA Mental Health Support Line on 1800 632 753

 

 

 

CEO Update COVID- 19, March 20th, 2020

 

 

At Catherine House, the health and safety of our clients, employees, volunteers and supporters is paramount in everything we do.

During these times of immense uncertainty, Catherine House is continually monitoring the information and protocols from appropriate regulatory bodies to help manage COVID-19 throughout our service and in the community.

 

All of our decisions about service delivery, employee management and workplace procedures strictly adhere to the guidelines set out by the Australian Government Department of Health and SA Health.

 

Our clients are vulnerable and we are doing everything we can to ensure their physical and mental health are supported during this time of heightened anxiety.

 

To ensure the best health and safety outcomes for Catherine House and our supporters, we have made the decision to postpone our upcoming Quiz Night on April 3rd.

Given this will undoubtedly have financial impact on us, it is our hope to be able to reschedule to the second half of the year. All other events will be assessed on a case by case basis, ensuring that we adhere to all government recommendations.

 

We have also made the decision to temporarily postpone in-kind donations coming from the public.

 

Thank you to everyone for your understanding and support of Catherine House as we navigate through this challenging time. We especially acknowledge and thank our wonderful staff, volunteers, corporate and individual supporters and donors, who continue to stick with us and support us so generously.

 

We truly couldn’t do it without you.

 

Please take care,

 

Linda Matthews
Chief Executive Officer
Catherine House Inc