COVID-19 continues to be a burden for those struggling with addiction and homelessness
LONDON, ONT. -- John Barnes is among the lucky ones. He was able to get into a treatment program at Quintin Warner House, operated by Mission Services of London before COVID-19 struck.
“My situation if it wasn't for Quintin Warner, I'd probably be in jail or homeless somewhere,” said Barnes.
"They've helped me by learning to understand my addiction and how to be around people.”
But Peter Rozeluk, the Executive Director of Mission Services says it’s been a struggle. “When COVID first struck we had to reduce the number of men that we were accepting into the program by about 50 percent.” said Rozeluk.
“The biggest impact is on mental health, its a stressful situation for everyone.”
Mission Services helps about 300 people every night with emergency shelters, food and programming supports.
“We are having to do that in a hotel as well because of social distancing,” adds Rozeluk.
To continue the work funding is needed. Since the Fall Banquet, which raises about $150,000 a year can’t go ahead as normal, a virtual event is planned with keynote speaker Guy Felicella.
He knows a thing or two about recovery after spending two decades on the streets.
“I struggled with substance use and had to be brought back to life six times,” said Felicella.
"I’m grateful for recovery organizations across the country and especially Quintin Warner House because my hope is to inspire others that no matter how far you've fallen there’s always hope.”
This year’s virtual banquet is on November 12.