How Shelters are Coping with COVID-19

Headshot of Elizabeth Clarke
Headshot of Elizabeth Clarke. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Clarke
Dan Kellar - CKMS - KitchenerON | 26-05-2020

Host: Lashaina Blair-White, @Lashainablair_w on Twitter

With the Centers for Disease Control and every news outlet, companies and some of your favourite celebrities encouraging you to stay home and practice social distancing in order to flatten the curve, I can’t help but wonder about those who aren’t so lucky. What about those who have no home to isolate in?

In this episode of CKMS News we will be exploring how volunteers, organizers and other essential workers at our local shelters are coping during this pandemic. I will speak to Elizabeth Clarke, the CEO of YW Kitchener Waterloo on what it’s like running a 24-hour shelter in the midst of a pandemic. She talks about the challenges she and her colleges as well as forging a new path made necessary by the pandemic.

I will also speak to Suzi Gursoy, a homeless activist in the Waterloo Region. Her outspokenness for the rights and wellbeing of the homeless community is not just her passion but also a reflection of her past. For many years Gursoy went without a permanent home. In this episode, she talks about her concerns for the homeless community and what challenges they face due to the lack of help, systems, and facilities.

For more information about YW Kitchener Waterloo, visit their website: