Centre 105 in Cornwall has added staff, expanded kitchen capacity and opened accessible washrooms to respond more effectively to community needs.
“The demand has increased due to the pandemic which has caused major unemployment, the closure of some small businesses, mental health issues, isolation and substance abuse issues,” says program coordinator Taylor Seguin.
The centre has used $36,600 in Social Services Relief Funding through the City of Cornwall and another $2,000 from the United Way to strengthen its capacity.
Senior psychotherapist student Johanna Bakker was hired on a short-term contract to provide wellness checks. She has brought a wealth of knowledge of Cornwall’s social and health services to the benefit of Centre 105 participants.
In addition, two St Lawrence College Social Service Worker students joined the team until the end of April. Two mobile phones have been purchased to help the workers stay connected with those in need of help. Applications have already been made in the hope of extending these services.
The Centre invested in kitchen equipment to more than double cooking capacity. The equipment allows cook Lorraine Kouwenberg to prepare a larger number of items at the same time.
Up to 80 meals a day, three days a week, are being provided through a take-out window at Trinity Church hall. The centre coordinates with other agencies, including the Agape Centre, which also offers meals.
An agreement was reached with the church to maintain sanitized and accessible washrooms. The $2,000 United Way grant was used to hire a cleaning company to maintain sanitizing protocols during the centre’s opening hours. “The lack of public washroom facilities has been a major problem during the pandemic,” Seguin says. “We are thrilled to be able to help fill that gap.”
Centre 105 is a Community Ministry of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa.