Catherine Wiebe
by Catherine Wiebe
Director, Clinical Operations, Fraser Canyon Hospital

“I’m proud of the work we were able to do together to keep people in our community safe.”

“I’m the director for Clinical Operations at Fraser Canyon Hospital. During COVID-19, I supported the Emergency Response Centre, in partnership with BC Housing and Hope and Area Transition Society. I’m proud of the work we were able to do together to keep people in our community safe. One of the first urgent tasks at hand was to move long-term guests at the House of Hope Emergency Shelter to the Colonial 900 Motel to individual rooms. The purpose of the move was to isolate the existing guests from new guests coming into the shelter to diminish the risk of anyone contracting COVID-19. The team moved 13 guests to the Colonial 900 Motel. Four of those guests have been at the shelter for over a year, living in a communal setting, dorm-style, on bunks. Since moving to the Colonial 900 Motel, these individuals have been able to restart their lives in a more traditional, supported housing situation. Each guest has their own room, three meals a day and access to important health supports like a mental health nurse, a physician and an on-site support worker 24/7. Outreach workers visit the site daily to assist with connecting guests with community services and possible long-term housing. It’s heartwarming to know the impact of our team’s work to support people in the community and see them thriving in the new environment. The guests seem to have a sense of dignity, they have decorated their rooms and they are proud of their accomplishments. Twinkle lights, throw carpets and collections of rocks and wood pieces adorn a number of units. The guests themselves have said they feel a lot healthier and haven’t been this happy in a long time. They’ve said their sleep patterns and overall health has improved too. With their ‘own space’, four guests have returned to their art, painting and carving. They love being referred to as ‘artists’ and two have sold some of their pieces. People in the community have shown a lot of interest in their work. Some guests have also picked up part-time work thanks to some local businesses. Helping others and seeing the personal growth and changes in the guests has been inspiring for our team. They are proud to work hard to support and encourage the guests to look for new ways to take steps forward.”