Mar. 17, 2020

Coronavirus - statement from our President and CEO

When I became President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada on February 24, I didn’t think that this would be the first communication I’d be sharing, but these are challenging and unprecedented times. I look forward to more positive and productive conversations but for now, I want to share some updates on the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as it relates to Habitat for Humanity’s work in Canada and internationally.

Staff at Habitat Canada and our local Habitat for Humanity organizations across Canada are taking the necessary steps to protect and prioritize the health and safety of staff, volunteers, Habitat homeowners, donors and local businesses. Our ability to help local families and vulnerable members of our community access affordable housing through Habitat’s homeownership model depends on community support.

And on behalf of all of my Habitat for Humanity colleagues across Canada, I thank you for your support and patience as we implement measures to protect our communities and support the efforts of local, provincial and national governments and health authorities. These measures may involve canceling or delaying fundraising events, group builds and other volunteer activities. With a situation that is constantly evolving, new decisions must be made almost daily. For the most up-to-date information about your local Habitat or Habitat ReStore, we encourage you to contact them directly.

This situation will undoubtedly have a negative impact on our efforts and fundraising to build new affordable housing. I know that it will impact many of you as well.

This situation has also affected Global Village, which is our short-term, international volunteer program. As announced on March 18, Habitat Canada has suspended Global Village builds until the end of June, and further suspensions of the program may be required. To read the full notice of the suspension or stay informed on future updates for this program, please click here. We are so grateful to our Global Village team leaders and volunteers for supporting these challenging decisions.

On a more personal note, I am keeping in mind what gets us through any big challenge like this: taking care of ourselves, taking care of others who need help, and knowing that we will get to the other side of this and resume the lives and good work we all want. Take more deep breaths and more big walks. Touch base and offer to help your family, co-workers, and neighbours. Donate to your local food bank or homeless shelter. Share your feelings with the people who care about you. We may need to stay apart physically, but we need to stay close to each other emotionally.

Thank you again for your continued support. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to email us at habitat@habitat.ca and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Julia Deans, President and CEO
Habitat for Humanity Canada