Kingston’s front-line healthcare workers are facing unprecedented stress during the current COVID-19 pandemic, but finding housing to protect their family as they self-isolate between shifts shouldn’t be an additional stressor.
That’s precisely what Kingston Housing for Healthcare Workers is aiming to facilitate. Knowing that local healthcare providers will be working long hours under stressful conditions during the coming months, Kingston Housing for Healthcare Workers is an initiative to connect those workers with safe, furnished, and deeply-discounted accommodations near their workplaces. This will allow front-line workers to continue their work without having to go home and risk contaminating their families.
To do so, the organization, led by volunteers, has created a website to connect front-line healthcare workers looking for short-term housing options with property owners offering discounted accommodations for them during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are looking for property owners that have furnished apartments, houses or heated camper-trailers available for immediate, short-term, deeply-discounted use, and providing listings to healthcare workers on a daily basis” said Andrew McCann, one of the volunteer organizers of the project.
McCann knows first-hand the stressful situation front-line healthcare workers are facing. His partner is a family doctor currently working at the Kingston Community COVID-19 Assessment Centre.
“We need more folks to come forward offering space for healthcare workers in need,” he said.
This project is part of a larger project that came about as a response to a social media plea made by a front-line nurse in Victoria, BC, who was unable to find alternate housing during the current pandemic in order to keep her family safe. As a response, www.healthworkerhousing.ca was created, and McCann, along with other local volunteers, were able to connect with the organizers of that initiative for guidance in setting up their own site and operation.
Kingston Housing for Healthcare Workers also has a Facebook page, and encourages both property owners and frontline healthcare workers to check out either their website or Facebook page for more information.
“Our Facebook page was originally set up by Ashley Cameron in Prince Edward County. She was very responsive when we suggested we work together to partner up with the Health Worker Housing project from Victoria, BC,” said Sheila Nemcsok, a volunteer organizer and local lawyer.