Some changes are coming to The Mustard Seed Kamloops amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Though the social-aid organization will continue to help the less fortunate, The Mustard Seed has had to make some decisions to fall in line with provincial and federal government directives.
As such, it has closed its dental clinic on West Victoria Street and its administration building on Seymour Street for the foreseeable future.
As of March 24, its outreach centre at 181 West Victoria St. will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Lunch and dinner will continue to be served, but new precautionary procedures will be in place. The space will be rearranged to accommodate no more than 50 people at a time, complying with government guidelines and abiding by the two-metre (six feet) social distancing requirements.
Guests will have their temperatures checked before entering the facilities and will need to wash their hands upon entering, with no exceptions. The Mustard Seed has also converted to disposable plates and cutlery for meals.
At 3 p.m. each day, the outreach centre will be closed for an hour to allow for time to clean the space and reset for dinner.
Their overnight shelter, which was scheduled to close on March 31, will remain open until June through a partnership with BC Housing. Due to shelter guidelines, space between maps will be increased, reducing the capacity to 24 mats from 30.
The Thrift Store is still on schedule to open in the spring, but they are not accepting donations until further notice.
The Mustard Seed is also looking for individuals who are able to work as support workers in the Outreach Centre and overnight in the shelter.
“The Mustard Seed is focused on prioritizing our clients and continuing to serve them,” managing director Mario Borba said. “In times like these, our clients need our support more than ever. These individuals without a home have no way to self-quarantine. We must provide them with a warm and safe space to go. Our incredible volunteers have continued to lend a hand despite all that is going on. Although we have had a few cancellations, I am encouraged by those who continue to serve our community.”
The Mustard Seed can be reached by phone at 250-434-9898.