by Megan Lowry, Nurse

One of the gifts of All Saints is the way people can remain connected to the community at various time s and in various ways. If you’ve been to All Saints, chances are you’ve met Kim. Kim is a good friend, funny, and welcoming. When we’re out in the community together it seems she knows everyone ! Kim likes All Saints because “all the staff know the situation with me, which makes it easier.” We have had lots of adventures together trying to keep it fun as we jump through the many hoops required to access identification, healthcare, housing, and other supports. In Kim’s words, “The main reason I come to All Saints is I like connecting with you because you help me with everything.” I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to branch outside a narrowly defined nursing role and support my clients with whatever is their greatest need.

While COVID has complicated all of our lives and has physically separated us from our communities, for people who stay within the shelter system it has been particularly hard. Since March [2020], Kim has stayed in over 10 different shelters. Some of these moves were her choice, but the majority were not. New places which have opened to support physical distancing are often outside the downtown core and make it harder for people to stay connected to their supports.

Though Kim has been moved far from All Saints she is, thankfully, the kind of friend who keeps in touch. Kim has my phone number memorized and keeps me updated about where in the city she is and, when she is staying somewhere where they let clients use the phone, she calls me.

Talking on the phone with Kim daily has been an unexpected blessing and has brightened my days and allowed me to better support and advocate for Kim in some of the situations she finds herself.

Changes to normal routines have given me a bit more time and flexibility to meet people at their homes, shelters, or out in the community. When asked about All Saints, Kim said, “me and you do things together one-on-one; it’s easier for me to have one-on-one.” We have been getting c aught up on paperwork and going to appointments virtually and in person. It’s a strange time , but I’m thankful for the chance it’s given me to spend more time with Kim and to make some exciting progress towards her goal of
having her own place to call home.

Note: Kim moved into her own home in the winter of 2021.