A Winnipeg shelter is bringing joy to isolated Winnipeggers by giving them tablets or kits filled with feel-good gifts.
Siloam Mission is handing out 219 kits to people who have recently found a home.
"This is something we have been thinking about for a while at Siloam. As the pandemic has worn on, one of the biggest challenges is finding ways to keep people's spirits up," Luke Thiessen, the Communications Manager at Siloam says.
As a recipient of the Safe at Home Manitoba grant, we are putting together 219 Boredom Buster Boxes for community members! The boxes vary in theme from art (72), wellness (67), and games (80).— Siloam Mission (@SiloamMission) January 20, 2021
The ministry created three versions of the kits: art, wellness, and games. The kits have different things inside of them, with some having solo board games and cards, colouring kits and art supplies, or sand gardens and fancy soaps.
Thiessen says that the kits are meant to give people who may not have internet access something to do as they stay safe while alone at home. He says they received the funding from the province's Safe at Home Manitoba grant to give them out.
Additionally, with the grant, Siloam has purchased dozens of small tablets to give to clients.
"In some cases, they will use this to even connect with their caseworkers here at Siloam so it really does serve that boredom busting and the really practical needs."
Siloam says they will need to replenish the kits and if someone wishes to donate, they can do so online.
Manitoba's homeless population has been hit hard by the pandemic.
"We are doing a lot of work. Public Health is involved in every single community that has cases," Deputy Public Health Officer Dr. Jazz Atwal says during a Friday COVID-19 update. The doctor says COVID cases are settling with some exceptions.
He says there are structural reasons for some communities being impacted more than others.
To combat the spread, the province created a testing site near the city's three major shelters and provided isolation shelters. Many in the homeless population have faced difficulties finding safe places to sleep as shelters limit capacity. Many people have chosen to sleep in shelters to stay warm.