We are running our youth drop-in again!
As of August 11, we are running an outdoor drop-in on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Due to all our COVID-19 precautions, it is a very different type of drop-in than when we were open in early March. However, we are excited! It has been so nice to reconnect with some of our youth. We want to hear how this time of isolation has impacted all of our youth, and provide a listening ear and hope for the future.
We did not take the responsibility of reopening under COVID-19 restrictions lightly. Several hours were spent reading through all the safety guidelines from the Ontario government, HPE Public Health, and our own Kawartha Youth Unlimited Head Office. It took four weeks to adapt and implement these guidelines to ensure that we have a Safety Plan that works in our specific context. We reevaluate this plan weekly to make sure it is up to date and that it is working well. We have trained and retrained our staff and volunteers on how they can stay safe and help ensure the youth stay safe as well. Besides staying outside, for now, a few other examples of safety measures include posted signage throughout the area reminding everyone of the safety protocols, hand sanitation stations in several locations, and a thorough sanitation checklist to limit the risk of transmission by surfaces.
At this point, we are focusing on creating a safe outdoor environment where youth can simply hang out and see their friends. However, we have been safely able to implement a couple of activities where both maintaining distancing and sanitation are prioritized. So far these include free hot meals, air hockey, and video games. We also hope to reopen the indoor pool table for the youth in the coming weeks.
As we expected, it has been low attendance to start, but we fully expect the numbers to increase as youth get back to school and experience some sense of normalcy. Starting with lower numbers is advantageous as we get used to operating under COVID-19 restrictions, and it will be helpful as we work towards preparations for safely opening more of our programs in the coming months.
We are so excited to meet again with our youth in person! We want to be there for them as we all navigate through the challenges that COVID-19 has presented. We also long to help our local young people see the hope and comfort that the Gospel of Jesus Christ can provide.
Please come join us on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9 PM. All youth are welcome!