The 2019-2020 year at WoodGreen was one for the record books.
We moved some major projects forward this year, including adding more affordable housing to Toronto’s stock with our new site at 1117 Gerrard Street East. In late 2020, 36 low-income seniors will have the chance to move into their brand new homes.
In December, Hon. Christine Elliott, Ontario Minister of Health, announced that East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP) would become one of the first 24 Ontario Heath Teams in the Province. WoodGreen is one of six Anchor Partners that make up ETHP together with a broader network of over 70 Engaged Partners. This is a new model of integrated care that delivers comprehensive a basket of health and social services, tailored to meet changing local needs at the community level, and we believe it will play an integral role in delivering health care in Ontario.
In the summer of 2019, WoodGreen opened our first Youth Wellness Centre (YWC), an amazing partnership with Strides Toronto Youth Services and Michael Garron Hospital (MGH). The YWC is a true one-stop shop for young people looking for mental health supports, social recreational opportunities or just a safe space to hang out.
The Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Committee at WoodGreen worked to further our organizational commitment to fight anti-black racism. The committee has undertaken the important task of leading difficult conversations, organizing expert-led training for our staff and working to make WoodGreen an even more diverse, inclusive and safe workplace that is free from all forms of discrimination.
In March, COVID-19 changed everything for our organization and the people we serve.
Many of our clients are seniors, isolated and experiencing poverty, and the effects of the pandemic hit them hardest.
The WoodGreen Team rose to the challenge and our 800 staff sprang into action to make sure our clients were cared for and could still access the lifesaving services we provide. Our team worked around the clock to ensure seniors in our community had everything they needed to get through the coming months. Our heroic Personal Support Workers continued to provide in-home care to our most vulnerable clients. WoodGreen staff came together to personally pack and deliver meals to thousands of people in need. Calls to our Toronto Seniors Help Line spiked, and the City of Toronto named us an official partner in the mental health supports required during the height of the pandemic. Our staff teamed up with doctors and nurses from Michael Garron Hospital to bring in home COVID-19 tests, masks and important health information to people in the neighbourhoods we serve.
On behalf of WoodGreen’s Board and Senior Leadership Team, we would like to thank each of WoodGreen’s 800 staff for their incredible dedication to achieving our Vision of a Toronto where everyone has the opportunity to thrive, even in the face of the greatest challenge of a generation.
Your work saved lives, and you are WoodGreen’s Heroes.