In these challenging times, when we are encouraged to keep social and physical distance, we are asking you to stay connected and aware of the communities most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not everyone can afford this social and physical distance.
Sanctuary Health is a collective of community organizers guided by the experiences and expertise of families with precarious or no immigration status. We work to better support immediate needs of this community, and to advocate for changes that will open doors and access to all services for families and communities that already face barriers, fear and rejection due to their immigration status.
It is not surprising that these communities are amongst the most affected by COVID-19, not only because of the reality of not having access to basic health care services, but as a result of the closure, isolation, distancing and lay-offs resulting from COVID-19 related measures. The work of these communities is already precarious, and they rely on an income below a living wage to support their families and communities to pay rent, buy food, pay for public transit and other basic needs.
The communities affected include undocumented families, migrant/refugee and undocumented seniors that depend on services to get their food and wellness, migrant and undocumented construction, janitorial and farm workers who were laid off because of the current situation and were told that it will be more than a month before they could potentially be re-hired. This includes communities of undocumented people with compromised immune systems like people living with HIV and chronic illnesses.
These communities live in fear of detention and deportation as well as the uncertainties of not being able to access services. The COVID-19 crisis worsens the anxiety and vulnerability as families cant afford to pay rent, their bills or put food on their tables, while borders are closed.
We all need each other to heal and thrive and particularly in times like this. We are asking you to please contribute in one or both ways:
Donate some funds through this GoFundMe so that Sanctuary Health can distribute the funds according to need and urgency to these communities. Anything is welcome and useful!
Bring food donations (dry beans, rice, cooking oil, sugar, salt, and maseca; no canned goods please) to Watari Counselling and Support Services. Please call Ingrid at [phone redacted] to arrange a time for drop-off. This is the location:
Watari Counselling & Support Services
200-678 East Hastings Street
Vancouver, B.C. V6A 1R1