COVID-19 Updates & Resources


Reopening Updates

Updated October 23, 2020

Good news! Aunt Leah’s Drop-in services have resumed! You can come hang out and connect with program support workers at Aunt Leah’s New Westminster office. There will be Specific program staff are available on each day.

New Operating hours:

SEFFY & Bootstraps
Monday Drop-in hours: 11AM – 4PM
Food Pick Up: 12PM-2PM

The Link Program
Wednesday Drop-in hours: 11AM-5PM
Food Pick Up: 3PM-5PM

Bootstraps, Branches and Connections
Friday Drop-in hours: 11AM-4PM
Food Pick Up: 12PM-2PM

Tuesdays and Thursdays – By appointment only

All virtual programming will continue as scheduled.

Due to COVID-19 Drop-in will look different:

  • Youth will need to enter through the front door of the office by ringing the door bell
  • Drop-in time allotted for each participant will be one hour.
  • If there are others waiting to enter you will be directed to an open space.

Social distancing will need to be maintained at all times.

We can’t wait to welcome you back!

For more information on our current office work plan: Covid Office Plan Final

Program Schedules and Updates

Sunday Haven – it is still happening in a modified version.

On Sunday please come no earlier than 4 pm. Dinner will be at 4:30.

  • We will be handing out your dinner and food bank food through the Kitchen door. On paper plates if you want to eat right away or in take out containers if you want to take it home
  • The building will be closed but there will be a Link worker if you need to get your mail or cheques and transit tickets. Washrooms will be available.
  • Dan’s Legacy’s counsellor’s can do phone sessions Read More

Mental Health SupportDan’s Legacy is committed to providing critical counselling and wrap-around supports.

  • The gym program has been put on hold temporarily. Youth involved in the program are being encouraged to power walk, run or cycle. Our therapist will spend time with some of the more at-risk youth, accompanying them on walks.supports during this crisis.
  • Counselling staff who exhibit symptoms of colds or flu will self-quarantine and connect virtually with clients (phone, Skype, Facebook, etc.) The remaining therapists are working with their clients safely, accepting new clients and providing on call services to participating hospital emergency departments.
  • If you are between 15 and 25 years old and are feeling that your mental health is at risk because of anxiety or depression, you are welcome to contact us:

Moms and Babies Group– meets virtually at 3 PM via Zoom. For more information, please contact Nubia Mancilla at or (778) 874-7676

The Sharing Circle meets virtually on Mondays from 1 – 2:30 PM via Zoom. Join us to share, ground, heal and connect. Please email Autumn Moreno at for more details and to sign-up. View poster

Essential Skills Workshops – Due to the drop in nature of our Wednesday workshops, and the unpredictability in attendance, Essential Skills Workshops will be cancelled until further notice. Participants are still welcome to receive a warm meal for take-out, between 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM, while quantity lasts. Read More

Bootstraps Retail Training is accepting new participants. Bootstraps staff is available by phone and email to support youth to work on employment and training goals and be a listening ear. Retail training is a 10-week paid employment program for youth in and from care. Youth must commit to 6 hours per week (2 shifts). This program is a hybrid training opportunity that incorporates hands-on learning at Aunt Leah’s Donations Centre and innovative online training. Start Date: July 6th – Sept. 7th. See flyer here or contact Chris at 778-773-0298 or

Tutoring: Our tutoring partner, Frontier College, will be suspending all programs for at least 3 weeks starting March 16th 2020. For the time being, the SEFFY team staff can provide limited one-on-one support for youth who wish for tutoring support at our office, provided that both staff and youth are not exhibiting sign of illness.

Branches AYA Life Skills Program is accepting new participants.

Link Virtual Program Schedule

  • Join us via Zoom every Thursday at 1 PM for some fun and creative workshops. To register and find out more information, please contact Dana Rowland at or by phone at 604-818-2364
  • Aug 27th: Budgeting with Candy – Link staff will lead a workshop where different candies represent different amounts of money and participants will participate in budgeting exercises.
  • Sept 3rd: Rainbow Wall Hangings – Link staff will teach participants how to make rainbow wall hangings for their homes or to give as gifts.
  • September 10th: Cooking with Link – Link will lead participants in a workshop to teach them how to prepare and cook a simple meal.
  • September 17th: Marbled Coasters – Link staff will teach participants how to make marble art on tile coasters.
  • September 24th: Aromatherapy Rice Bags – Link staff will lead participants in making aromatherapy rice bags which can be used for relaxation, panic attacks, anxiety, headaches, etc. Talk about the importance of self-care.

Medical Clinic Services

The Nurse Practitioner, Saje Crossen will be returning Wednesday , July 22. To book an appointment please call 604-283 3293 or call your support worker.

Hello! My name is Saje Crossen and I look forward to meeting you at the Wednesday afternoon Medical Clinic Aunt Leah’s Place. I graduated from UBC in 2011 and have been providing care for Aunt Leah’s Participants for the past two years via Fraser Health’s Indigenous Health Team. I am passionate about providing comprehensive, trauma-informed, culturally safe, non-judgemental, primary healthcare to clients of all ages. During COVID I am available for telehealth and in-person visits.

What services do Nurse Practitioners provide?

  • Prescribe medications
  • Order lab tests, x-rays and CTs etc.
  • Treat infections and injuries
  • Diagnose and manage conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes
  • Perform physical exams and pap tests
  • Counsel and educate patients
  • Make referrals to specialists and other services
  • Promote wellness and prevention of illness

What to Expect/Expectations for Telehealth appointments

To book an appointment please call 604-283 3293 or call your support worker

Please be ready for your call from 5 mins before your booked appointment until 30 minutes after the booked time.

Please expect that the call may appear as a “blocked number”

Please do your best to be in a quiet, private space with minimal distractions for the appointment.

If you need to cancel your appointment please call 604 283 3293. Leave a message if there is no answer. Cancelling in advance allows us to see another Participant in that timeslot.

If you miss your call please call 604 283 3293 to reschedule.

If you need or strongly prefer an in-person appointment please let us know ahead of time. There are NO in-person walk-in appointments at this time.

Emergency Resources – 24 Hours Service

  • Crisis Line: 604-872-3311
  • Helpline for Children: 310-1234
  • BC Suicide Line: 1-800-784-2433
  • Mental Health Support Line: 310-6789
  • Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
  • BC211 Resource Directory: 211 ( )

Technology & Educational Resources

You can gain complimentary Shaw Go WiFi access on your smartphone, laptop, tablet or mobile device by selecting WiFi and then choosing the ShawGo network option. A full list of locations is available at or by downloading the Shaw Go WiFi Finder App

Keep Learning is the online portal from the BC Ministry of Education. It provides suggestions for parents and caregivers to keep their children learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While school facilities are closed and move to virtual learning, Shaw has partnered with global education technology leader EVERFI to provide a free virtual education hub that all Canadians can access to support students, parents and teachers with additional virtual education resources for students K-12.

Signing up (for free) with these four steps:

  • Visit the EVERFI K-12 Family Portal
  • Select your Province and child’s school to create a profile
  • Receive access to all courses available to your school.
  • Check out the learning resource guide here to plan appropriate courses


We have suspended our volunteer program, but will be updating prospective volunteers as to when we can safely use their help again. If you want to learn more about the volunteering opportunities with Aunt Leah’s and leave your name, please visit our Volunteer page

Thrift Store Updates

Aunt Leah’s Thrift store is accepting furniture donations at the warehouse by appointment only on Wednesdays and Fridays between 10AM and 3 PM. Please visit our Thrift Store page and fill out the form if you are interested in donating furniture at this time.

Our store is moving to a new location in October. In the meantime, we are working hard to build an online store. Stay tuned for the big launch and the reopening in our new store! Our youth and families can make arrangements through their Support Worker to access emergency household items and have them delivered to their homes.

You can stay healthy and prevent the spread of infections by:

  • washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • carry hand sanitizer if you have it and use it when you can’t have access to soap and water
  • avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands;
  • avoiding close contact with people who are sick;
  • coughing or sneezing into your sleeve and not your hands;
  • avoiding crowded situations
  • staying home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others; Call ahead before visiting your doctor.

For health questions or concerns, please contact your family doctor, a public health service or the HealthLinkBC helpline (dial: 8-1-1).

You can call 1-888-COVID19 for non-medical information on the virus covering everything from travel recommendations to social distancing. The new line should “allow 811 healthcare professionals to support more people who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or who require assistance with other health issues. The line will be manned by service representatives from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, and information will be provided in more than 110 languages. You can alternatively text 604-630-0300 for COVID-19 information.

COVID-19 Updates and resources

We encourage everyone to stay informed about the facts surrounding COVID-19 and recommend the following links to qualified authorities:

Financial Resources

*This Page Will Be Updated With Additional Resources As They Are Announced*

Concerns about aging out during COVID-19?

A message from MCFD (February 10, 2021):

“All youth who are transitioning into adulthood can access housing supports to stay where they are. In addition, for the first time, those who are eligible for the Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program can apply to participate in both programs at the same time. Eligible young adults using the emergency housing support may be eligible to receive up to $350 per month through AYA, based on their unique needs and the length of their program.”

“All youth who are set to transition into adulthood at age 19 will continue to receive housing and financial support past their 19th birthday, until March 31, 2022. This means youth who are currently living in foster care, contracted residential agencies or with relatives through an out-of-care arrangement, such as through the extended family program, will be able to stay in their placements, and youth on Independent Living Agreements and Youth Agreements will continue to receive financial support. Social workers will continue transition planning with young adults who are ready to move on from their current placements.”
Read more on their webpage.

Updates to Agreements with Young Adults Program – October 5, 2020.
Letter from MCFD for youth on YAG or IL who may age out during covid-19.
Frequently asked questions answered by MCFD.


Concerns about applying for, or accessing an AYA life-skills program during COVID-19?

A message from MCFD (October 5, 2020):

We are writing to give you an update about some changes to the Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) Program. Navigating the world as a young adult can be challenging, especially now. We are pleased to announce that the emergency measures put in place in March 2020 have now been extended until September 30, 2021.

These measures are in place so that:

  • You can now take life-skills programs online
  • You can individualize a life-skills program with as few as 5 hours/week
  • Life-skills providers no longer need to be approved by the Ministry of Children and Family Development
  • You can learn life-skills in one ‘learning domain’ (like health and wellness or financial literacy) instead of four.
  • Cultural learning opportunities can be included in your life-skills programming, like learning a family language or meeting with elders.

Also, there are several new measures that will be in place as of October 1, 2020:

  • You have more options for mental health and rehabilitative support while on the AYA program
  • You will be able to attend mental health services or rehabilitative services for fewer hours per week (10 hours/week instead of 15)
  • You can take part in more than one program at a time — for example, going to counselling while going to school part-time.

If you have questions, need more resources or would like help connecting with your family or Indigenous community, contact your social worker. If you need access to a phone and internet, the TELUS Mobility for Good (M4G) program may provide you with a free cell phone and data plan for two years. This will help you stay connected to the important information you may need during this time.

What financial support is available to me?

New Recovery Benefits

If you were receiving CERB, you may be eligible for one of the new recovery benefits retroactive to September 27, 2020 and available until September 25, 2021.

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The Canada Recovery Benefit will provide eligible workers with $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to 26 weeks for those who are not employed or self-employed due to COVID-19 and who are not eligible for EI, or had their employment/self-employment income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in two-week periods.

Learn more about the Canada Recovery Benefit

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) will provide $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to 26 weeks per household for workers unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19, or because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in one-week periods.

Learn more about the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) will provide $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19, self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19, or have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in one-week periods.

Learn more about the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit

Questions about the Canada Recovery Benefits?

Please read these questions and answers for more details.

Questions about the temporary changes to EI?

Please read these questions and answers for more details.

Tax Information

Ways to Stay Connected

Aunt Leah’s Sharing Circle

Aunt Leah’s Sharing Circle has gone virtual. Join Audrey Siegl and Sara Cadeau on Monday from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM for this ongoing weekly circle to share, ground, heal and connect.

Please contact Autumn at to register.

The Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks – Fed Connects! Events will take place via Facebook on the Fed Connects group. *search Fed Connects on Facebook and request to join*

Every dollar counts

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achieve a better future.