The World Health Organization
has classified COVID-19 a global pandemic. We are actively monitoring the
rapidly evolving directions of all levels of government and paying special
attention to advice from Newfoundland and Labrador’s Public Health officials. NL is currently classified as having a Public
Health State of Emergency and as such, it is important for you to know that the
Iris Kirby House & O’Shaughnessy House and Second Stage Shelters are actively
We encourage those experiencing family violence and abuse to reach out – whether you are a victim, friend or family member looking to support someone.
Call our 24-Hour Family Violence Crisis Line:
/ OSH -1888-596-8709
Our counselors at Iris Kirby House will also respond to via text at 709-500-6296 or call/text the Newfoundland Provincial Domestic Violence Help at 1 (888) 709-7090
If you are in danger, call
We know the incidences of family violence and abuse will increase. We have refocused services and offering additional support to those impacted. We wanted to share with the community some of the preventative measures we are taking at this time.
- IKH/OSH has been screening admissions to the Shelter since mid March, with screening criteria that is in alignment with provincial requirements (i.e.; assessing for symptoms, travel and contact information with known travellers).
- Women (&
children) are quarantined in self contained units for 14 days before admission
into the shelter. If residents are symptomatic while living in the shelter, (ex:
flu like symptoms) they are isolated immediately in their room.
are community partnerships with local hotels that have confirmed they are able
to actively support IKH/OSH, if there is a need for more self isolation spaces
in the future.
- IKH/OSH Staff are
diligently sanitizing to ensure our shelter is cleaned to industry standards
with the use of hospital-grade disinfectant.
As well, staff have continued to use and replace Personal Protective
Equipment items including masks, gloves and gowns for use when appropriate.
- IKH/OSH are
following physical distancing recommendations. Employees working in both the
emergency shelters and second stage shelters are practicing physical distancing
and are supporting residents to do the same in all communal living spaces.
- Meals at the
shelter are prepared by a chef, meals are brought to the women and families on
will not be receiving any Donations during this time.
IKH appreciates the community’s generosity but for the time being please hold
onto items you wish to donate. We are limiting access for community
members to the shelter for the safety of everyone.
team are engaging in new strategies for online/phone one- on- ones and check
in’s with clients.
- IKH/OSH are providing cell phones to women who
are in abusive relationships and struggling with ways to reach out to get help.
- At this time, all Programming (ex:
empowerment) are on hold due to protocols put in place surrounding physical
distancing to lessen likelihood of spreading COVID-19
we appreciate our Volunteers eagerness to help support our organization,
during this time we are currently asking our volunteers to stay home. Our
volunteer program is temporarily paused. On behalf of our whole team, we
appreciate your understanding and support now more than ever. If you have any
questions regarding your current volunteer schedules, please call Programming
On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Executive
Director, thank you to all Frontline team and Client Support
Workers/Supervisors that continue to work the front lines daily. Thank you to
our teams that have shifted their roles to working remotely in attempt to
create a safer space in shelter but still support our necessary services.
WAYS YOU CAN HELP
In times of increased anxiety
and stress, incidents of family violence and abuse can increase. COVID-19
is affecting all of us. If you can help, please consider
For basic essential items,
please see our Facebook page for updated needs for the shelter and our
residents. With monetary donations we can purchase items to support our clients
as needed and buy in bulk.
Please go to our Donate Now
section or contact our Executive Director at 709-722-8272 for ways to make this
Your support will help us keep
women, children, and youth safe during this critical time in our
community. We are all in this together.
Thank you for supporting the Iris
Kirby House Emergency Shelter & O’Shaughnessy House.