Non-profits issue plea for masks for city’s most vulnerable

By | August 16, 2020

Two Winnipeg organizations that work with the city’s most vulnerable have put out pleas for reusable masks for their clients.

1JustCity and Main Street Project both say they no longer have fabric masks left for clients to use and are hoping Winnipeggers’ generosity will change that.

“Masks are becoming a barrier to access different health care services and so we want to be able to give them to our guests when they need them. We want to be able to give them to our guests so that they can wear them in the space to make themselves and others safe when that makes sense,” said Tessa Blaikie Whitecloud, 1JustCity’s executive director.

Whitecloud said 1JustCity is going to require clients wear a mask when participating in programming it offers aside from eating in their soup kitchen. They’ll also be given to volunteers who don’t have a mask.

She said while masks have become relatively easy to get, they’re still a challenge for some of the city’s most vulnerable to attain, and getting one can open doors.

1JustCity is hoping that people will sew masks like this for the non-profit. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

“Getting a mask can mean that they can go to a doctor’s appointment, getting a mask can mean they can go to a particular grocery store where they might need something for their dietary needs.”  

Whitecloud said 1JustCity was able to get about 3,000 masks back in April and is hoping to get that same number of donations again in part because the organization wants to stockpile for the fall.

So far in Winnipeg, one homeless person is known to have tested positive for COVID-19.

Whitecloud said the person was living in a small homeless encampment and thankfully to her knowledge no one else contracted the virus. 

She said anyone who wants to donate a reusable or disposable mask can go online to 1justcity.ca.

Main Street Project has also put out a plea for masks on its Instagram page.

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