Scouts Canada Works with Partners and Government to Help Homeless

COVID-19

Ottawa, ON – Scouts Canada is working with community partners and government agencies to repurpose its vast campgrounds and community facilities across Canada to support emergency response and relief efforts, including providing space for assessment centres and temporarily housing unsheltered populations and other vulnerable groups.

“As Scouts, we seek to make meaningful contributions to the communities in which we live,” said Andrew Price, Executive Commissioner and CEO of Scouts Canada. “During this time of increased need, our membership continues to actively seek ways to give back; and with 180 properties across Canada and all in-person Scouting activities on hold, we are in a unique position to provide much-needed facilities and properties to support a diverse range of COVID-19 response efforts.”

Among its properties, Scouts Canada’s Camp Woods (70 Mile House, BC) and Blue Springs Scout Reserve (Acton, ON), will provide shelter and 14-day isolation for migrant workers arriving in Canada for seasonal work; while the 1st Cochrane Scout Hall(Cochrane, ON) will serve as a COVID-19 assessment centre for the Town of Cochrane’s emergency response team.

As well, to support with the urgent need to assist Canada’s unsheltered population during this health crisis, Camp Samac (Oshawa, ON), in partnership with the Region of Durham, The Christian Faith Outreach Centre and the First Light Foundation of Hope, will set up safe shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness in the Durham region. One lodge will offer shelter, washroom facilities and beds to maintain safe physical distancing practices, while another lodge will be used by staff and to securely store clients’ belongings.

Government or community agencies seeking additional facilities for emergency response and relief can contact kalie.mckenna@scouts.ca or call 343-549-7720.

To ensure the health and safety of the Scouting community during the novel coronavirus pandemic, Scouts Canada’s Scout halls and campgrounds are currently closed to youth, volunteers and the general public in accordance with the direction provided by the government and health agencies. Scouts Canada has put in-person activities on hold with Groups meeting virtually and engaging in free Scouting at Home programming encouraging youth – both Scouts and non-Scouts – to keep developing well-rounded skills through fun activities while practicing physical distancing.