John Howard Society of BC’s Executive Officer on COVID-19

As we find ourselves in these extraordinary and challenging times, it is important now more than ever that we come together, as people, as service providers, and as a global community to build safe, healthy, and inclusive communities for all.

At times like these, it is essential for us as an organization to ensure that our steps forward are rooted in our core values. For us at the John Howard Society of BC along with our regional affiliates, this, in consideration with the mandates and recommendations provided to us by our funders, government, community partners, and leading health experts, makes our ongoing direction clear.

We support seven regional John Howard Societies across British Columbia, whom as individual organizations and as a collective have a robust history of supporting individuals, families, and communities facing complex barriers. While the work being carried out and the populations being supported may differ region-by-region, together, we assist thousands of British Columbia’s most vulnerable citizens by delivering essential community services – and I speak for all of the John Howard Societies in British Columbia when I say that this is work that we are very proud and honoured to do.

As of right now, provincial and regional governments, including the Office of Provincial Health recommend that so long as reasonable precautions are adhered to, all of which we have implemented, service providers are not recommended to close essential community services. While adhering to enhanced precautions may require some changes in how our services are delivered, we are committed to being innovative in ensuring that we are meeting the needs of the people we serve. We have implemented processes across the JHS that will assist us in continuing to support service users, staff, and wider communities as safely as possible.

It is important for all of us in communities to acknowledge that the continuity of services to vulnerable peoples at these critical times is paramount. We are committed to continuing our supports until directed otherwise by our funders and governments. We are working hard as a team, and in collaboration with our funders, partners, and leading health agencies as we focus on keeping  our staff, service users, and members of the JHS and wider community safe.

As an organization we are founded on our core values, and it is clear now more than ever that we are determined and resilient and it is so encouraging to see our teams coming together to support each other and our service users at this difficult time.

Let’s all continue work together to support each other and those in our communities who need it most.

Sincerely,

Mark Miller

Chief Executive Officer of the JHSLM
& Executive Officer of the JHSBC