Update (March 16, 2020):
Our leadership team continues to stay informed of the developing COVID-19 protocols and practices as delivered by the Ministry of Health, and we would like to share some of the extended precautions we are taking, further to our release regarding program suspensions on March 13.
The safety of our staff is of the utmost importance. As a result, our main building at 4633 49 Street will be closed to the public effective Tuesday, March 17 until further notice. Agency staff will be accessible by phone and email to attend to any questions or concerns you may have. Our work will continue as normally as is possible.
We will continue to monitor the health of our staff, suggesting they stay home or work remotely (as possible) if they are experiencing any symptoms similar to a cold or flu.
We understand the difficulty the current climate presents and are looking at how we can support our families during this challenging time. As always, the safety of the children and youth that attend our programs is our number one priority. We invite you to engage with us on social media, as we share ideas and activities for those isolating.
We thank our supporters, donors, and volunteers for their continued support. Let these circumstances offer the opportunity for reflection and renewal on how we can empower the youth in our community.
Acting Executive Director & Program Director
At Youth HQ, our primary objective is the healthy growth and development of every young person who comes through our doors. Our leadership has been paying very close attention to the global outbreak of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), particularly as it relates to our Clubs, events, and fundraisers. Although the Public Health Agency of Canada as well as the Ministry of Health in Alberta have assessed the public health risk as low, we are taking proactive precautions within our organization.
Boys & Girls Club of Red Deer and District programs will be suspended, beginning Monday, March 16. Programs will tentatively resume Monday, April 6; however, we reserve the right to enforce further cancellations of after-school clubs and extra-curricular programs until such a time as we feel the risk to the children and youth we serve (as well as program staff) has been mitigated. We will follow the lead of the school districts we serve and continue to keep our program parents updated.
Our Pub Night fundraiser at The Canadian Brewhouse, scheduled for Saturday, March 14, is postponed until further notice. Tickets purchased for this event will be honoured for a Pub Night fundraiser in the future, or you can request a refund by contacting us directly.
In-school mentoring programs and teen mentoring programs have also been temporarily suspended beginning Monday, March 16, with match activities planned for March officially cancelled. Programs will tentatively resume Monday, April 6. Mentors and mentees within the community-based programs of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Red Deer and District are asked to be increasingly vigilant with their cough and hand hygiene etiquette, but we have not implemented any restrictions and encourage continuing match activities as normal. Being there for each other (even if not in physical proximity) and showing up in whatever way makes sense is as powerful now as it ever has been. The relationships you have created pay dividends in times like these, when we need friends to lean on.
Pursuant to direction from the National Hockey League and the Oilers Entertainment Group, our Oilers 50/50 Fundraiser event on March 29 has been suspended. We thank those who signed up to assist us in our fundraising efforts and we will keep volunteers informed if circumstances change.
The 49th Street Youth Shelter will continue to operate as normal. The Shelter has existing practices, protocols and policies regarding Infectious Disease Control and consistently enforces these protocols daily. We have also implemented additional sanitation precautions as per guidelines delivered by Alberta Human Services, which continue to ensure the safety and health of youth accessing our facility. We will make every effort to ensure continued accessibility of our facility and outreach services.
In conjunction with the YMCA and Boys & Girls Club of Hamilton, we have made the decision to postpone our hosting portion Youth Exchange trip for the safety of youth and staff. At this time, our portion of the exchange trip to Hamilton in May will continue as scheduled; however we reserve the right to postpone the event should assessments indicate the safety of event participants, volunteers, and staff is at risk.
We have also made the difficult decision to temporarily postpone the annual Youth HQ Ski Trip, with a potential date to be scheduled early in May. All conference travel domestically and internationally has also been either postponed or cancelled.
Our agency staff continues to be informed of the most up-to-date information as it becomes available from health authorities. We will continue to monitor the health of our staff, suggesting they stay home or work remotely (as possible) if they are experiencing any symptoms similar to a cold or flu.
As always, the safety of the children and youth that attend our programs is our priority. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.
For more information, please contact:
Acting Executive Director & Program Director
403-342-6500 ext. 110