I had the opportunity for a very brief catch up with Micah Projects CEO, Karyn Walsh this week.
Micah Projects is a not for profit service based in West End that works across Brisbane with people who are experiencing homelessness or who are living in social housing, including those experiencing domestic violence, and those with mental illness or disability.
Ms Walsh said West End has a lot of people living in social housing and Micah is currently going through the process of identifying which clients are the most vulnerable during this health crisis.
“So, we’re working with the people that are at risk due to chronic disease, who are aged, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and those who are immune suppressed,” Ms Walsh said.
Ms Walsh, said that for people with a pre-existing mental illness or disability, this is a time of heightened stress and concern.
Micah is ensuring people have access to food, and is also supporting people living in social housing who are self-isolating and need to get to medical appointments or to have medications delivered.
Micah put a call out for volunteers this week, but Ms Walsh said, “we don’t want hundreds and hundreds of volunteers”.
“We do need a few, if we start delivering food to people”.
In terms of volunteer and staff safety, Ms Walsh said, “We have preventative strategies. We’ve got hand sanitizers and masks, our nursing staff have got the basic equipment that they need, including in their cars, in the office, and when we’re doing outreach.”
Ms Walsh said all staff are practicing social distancing.
Micah is seeking community volunteers to sign up for ad hoc duties such as packing Emergency Response sanitation packs for rough sleepers and delivering meals to people in isolation. If you would like to assist please use this sign up form and we will be in touch as these volunteer roles become available: http://bit.ly/MicahERVolunteers
You can also help to support vulnerable, at-risk communities during this crisis by:
- Contributing cleaning and personal hygiene supplies. Due to a national shortage, we are in critical need of pocket sized tissues, small bottles of hand sanitisers and small water bottles to mitigate risk for people sleeping rough. We also ugently need disinfecting wipes, hand sanitiser, bleach, masks, gloves, toilet paper, nappies and baby wipes for people that we support.
- Making a contribution to support our emergency response efforts. You can make a direct donation to www.micahprojects.org.au/donate or create a fundraising page to rally the support of your friends and family.
Other changes at Micah
Micah announced this week that due to the virus, drop-in days and events are suspended temporarily to ensure the health and wellbeing of participants during this time.
Appointments, phone support and outreach to individuals and families are still occurring.
See more here about the assistance Micah is providing during the Covid-19 crisis.
Image of Karyn Walsh supplied.