Sandy Hill Community Response Team / L’équipe d’aide de la communauté de la Côte de Sable

posted in: COVID-19 Response

I’m sure many of you are feeling anxious about coronavirus. The Sandy Hill Community Response Team is here to help. Our team can introduce you to a neighbour who can help you get groceries, medication, or other basic necessities. We can also connect you with a friend if you need someone to talk to.
To request help or volunteer, please call us at 613-454-5633 or email sandyhillcovid19@gmail.com . A member of our team will get
back to you within 24 hours.

We will get through this together as a community.

 


J’imagine bien que le virus corona vous cause quelque anxiété. L’équipe d’aide de la communauté de la Côte de Sable est là pour vous aider. Notre équipe peut vous présenter des voisins qui peuvent vous aider à faire les courses, à aller chercher vos médicaments, ainsi qu’à répondre à d’autres nécessités de base. Nous pouvons également vous mettre en contact avec un(e) ami(e) à qui vous désirez parler.
Afin de faire appel à un(e) de nos bénévoles, veuillez communiquer avec nous au 613.454.5633 ou envoyer un courriel à sandyhillcovid19@gmail.com. Quelqu’un de l’équipe vous répondra dans les 24 heures.

Ensemble, en communauté, nous sommes plus forts.


Volunteer FAQ

Note: It is okay if you do not know the answer to a question or concern. If this is the case, mention you will relay the question or concern to the organizing team and we will answer it together. 

Volunteer Health and Safety

Are volunteers provided any personal protective equipment such as gloves, hand sanitizer, or masks?
How can you make sure I stay safe and healthy?
How do you match volunteers and neighbours?
Is my contact information kept confidential?

Questions Related to Dispatch

How does payment of goods work? (i.e. for grocery shopping and supply pick-up?)
Where should I drop off supplies for my neighbour?
What if I cannot reach the neighbour in need?

Questions Related to Health

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Where do I direct someone who is feeling ill or expressing symptoms?
What if someone needs urgent help?

Other

Who is the Sandy Hill Community Response Team?
How do I reach out if I have more questions or concerns?

 

Virtual Homework Help or Online Learning Resources

Please visit this page if you’re looking for more information about virtual homework help or online learning resources.

 

Volunteer Health and Safety

Note: It is okay if you do not know the answer to a question or concern. If this is the case,

Are volunteers provided any personal protective equipment such as gloves, hand sanitizer, or masks?

Unfortunately we do not have a supply of N-95 medical-grade masks or gloves. These items are in short supply and we want to ensure they are available for those who need them most: medical staff and other frontline workers.

As of July 7, 2020, Ottawa Public Health says non-medical masks are mandatory in all indoor spaces across Ottawa. Following those recommendations, we require our volunteers wear non-medical masks at all times during their volunteer dispatch. Volunteers who have signed up as part of our response team can pick up a free non-medical fabric mask made by one of our Sandy Hill neighbours.

Otherwise, we encourage volunteers to use their own equipment from home, and to wash or sanitize their hands well before, during, and after any dispatch tasks.

 

How can you make sure I stay safe and healthy?

Every person who calls our phone number has been briefed with our health and safety protocols. These directives come from guidelines set by Ottawa Public Health. However, our team cannot guarantee your health and safety, as you could come into contact with the virus anywhere in the community. By providing mandatory protocols, we aim to ensure our volunteers and neighbours are as safe as they can possibly be.

 

How do you match volunteers and neighbours?

We match volunteers and neighbours based on three criteria: (1) help being offered/needed; (2) availability; (3) geographic location (i.e. how close do people live to one another).

 

Is my contact information confidential?

Yes. Only our core organizing team has access to your information. It is never shared with the public.

 

What are the expectations and responsibilities of volunteers? Of the people who need assistance?

The Sandy Hill Community Response Team is a small team of volunteers. While we wish we could coordinate every last detail, that is unfortunately not possible. As a result, there are certain expectations for both the volunteer and the person who has requested help:

Volunteer:

The volunteer will follow the health and safety guidelines circulated by our team following our first call with you.
The volunteer is responsible for reaching out to their neighbour once they receive their match. They will then coordinate the help they need, timing and availability, and determine and means of payment (if relevant).
The volunteer will reach out to our team via phone or email if they have any questions or feedback following the dispatch. They will also contact our team if they have been unable to reach their match or if they’re no longer able to offer help (i.e. if you start to show symptoms or feel ill).

Neighbour requesting help:

The neighbour requesting help acknowledges that the volunteer is providing help for free (i.e. they are offering their time) but are not responsible for paying for groceries, medication, etc. The volunteer will determine a method of payment during the initial matching call. If you are not able to pay for your groceries or goods, please be clear with us and we can connect you with another service. You are not alone and we will do our best to ensure you get the help you need.
The neighbour requesting help will not ask the volunteer to put themselves at risk—i.e. entering a home or doing anything else that makes them feel uncomfortable.

 

How does payment of goods work? (i.e. for grocery shopping and supply pick-up?)

It is the responsibility of the volunteer and neighbour in need to coordinate the payment process that works best for their situation. When possible, volunteers and neighbours should avoid exchanging physical cash because of the risk of virus transmission.

Here are some suggested methods of payment:

Email money transfer: This is ideal. The most secure and direct way of payment; managed after a volunteer completes the service.

Cash left in an envelope: Neighbours should coordinate a way to have an envelope of money left in their mailbox. For security reasons, pick-up time should be agreed on with the volunteer. The volunteer can then take this money, run the errands, and return the change and a receipt. This should be left alongside the supplies that are dropped off, and not handed directly to the person.

Cheque left in an envelope: Similar to cash, this is a cheque left in the mailbox for the volunteer to pick-up. This can be the exact total of the service that was provided.

Groceries ordered for pick-up: The Loblaws at Rideau and Nelson allows for orders to be placed and paid for online and picked up in person. This can be done through their website, and is another option for volunteers and neighbours. The volunteer and neighbour in need would coordinate the pick-up time at the grocery store.

Note: the volunteer should always provide the neighbour with the receipt of goods.

 

Where should I drop off supplies for my neighbour?

These details should be coordinated when the volunteer reaches out to their neighbour. The drop-off location will depend on whether the person lives in a home or in an apartment building. You should never enter someone’s home or go further than a person’s apartment lobby (unless you’ve discussed and the volunteer feels comfortable going to a person’s floor).

Always try to coordinate drop-off on the front stairs, stoop, or lobby, and do not go within 2 metres of your neighbour.

 

What if I cannot reach the neighbour with whom I’ve been matched? Or What if my matched volunteer has not reached out to me.

If you are unable to reach the person needing help after 48 hours, please call us (613-454-5633) or email sandyhillcovid19@gmail.com. We will follow-up with the neighbour in need and possibly rematch you with another neighbour. Likewise, we will follow-up with the volunteer and possibly rematch you.

 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

From the Ottawa Public Health website:

“Those who are infected with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. This is the longest known infectious period for this disease. We are currently investigating if the virus can be transmitted to others if someone is not showing symptoms. While experts believe that it is possible, it is considered to be rare. Symptoms have included: fever, cough, difficulty breathing, pneumonia in both lungs.”

 

Where do I direct someone who is feeling ill or experiencing symptoms?

Ottawa Public Health suggests directing people to the Ontario Government self-assessment tool.

 

What if someone needs urgent help?

From the Ottawa Public Health website:

“If someone is in crisis, please point them towards the Mental Health Crisis Line (24 hours a day/7 days a week) at 613-722-6914.”

If someone has SEVERE SYMPTOMS (frequent shortage of breath and cannot manage their symptoms at home, call 9-1-1 immediately. Go to the hospital emergency department and pay attention to special signage.

 

Other

Who is the Sandy Hill Community Response Team?

Our main organizing team is a dozen volunteers who live in Sandy Hill. Many of us are members of Action Sandy Hill, your local community association. Otherwise, we are just people who care about the wellbeing of our neighbours. Our volunteers all live in Sandy Hill. Councillor Mathieu Fleury’s team at the City of Ottawa is aware and supportive of our efforts.

 

How do I reach out if I have more questions or concerns?

You can email us at sandyhillcovid19@gmail.com or call 613-454-5633 and a member of our organizing team will get back to you.


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