Coping with the unforeseen consequences of COVID funding
To say that these times, coping with the COVID 19 pandemic, are strange is trite; but, coping with the unforeseen consequences of COVID funding efforts seems bizarre.
While the Windsor Residence for Young Men has been the beneficiary of most generous funding to cope with Coronavirus, funding for our basic program has dried up. WRYM has been remarkably COVID free while continuing to transition youth from homelessness; but, we may have to suspend our operations in a matter of weeks because our basic program is not being sufficiently funded.
We have been provided with a generous reserve dedicated to staff overtime and isolation pay should we have to isolate with “our guys”, but not the funding to initially provide their basic staff wages. Funding for “The Kids Next Door” work program, about $10,000, was eliminated early on at Stage 1 of the pandemic, when we could not provide social distancing for 4 guys and our supervisor in a vehicle transporting them to the “job site”.
For the same reason we had to restrict our Youth Independence Program (YIP) to residents. Like the schools, our classroom had to be closed to all non-resident youth. Now that our community has finally moved to Stage 3 and the schools are opening, we have no funding, about $30,000, to run YIP. We could not apply to fund a program earlier which would have been prohibited from operation with no idea of when the prohibition might be lifted. We have been offered far more non-perishable food than we can store due to the phenomenal efforts of the Miracle Food Drive; but, we still must spend about $1,000 each month on fresh dairy and meat, etc.; and, we certainly can’t send staff home with food boxes instead of pay cheques.
The bottom line is that WRYM needs about $50,000 quick to give our staff job security and “our guys” a home. We understand that “the virus” has also affected our donors, funders, and grantors in many ways, certainly slowing down the process of assessing our normal needs and their ability to provide for same while dealing with pandemic funding.
But, we must ask you to consider that, while we seem to have built a pandemic wall around WRYM, WRYM may end up a hollow within the shell if we do not receive the program funding now that you would provide later.
Gregory D. Goulin, LSM, JD (ret.)
Executive Director, (pro bono), & Founder
The Windsor Residence for Young Men
Gregory D. Goulin, LSM, JD