COVID-19 Updates & Resources


Reopening Updates

Updated January 13, 2022

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. Aunt Leah’s Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.

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.
  • Social distancing will need to be maintained at all times.
  • For more information on our current office work plan: Covid Office Plan (2022)

We can’t wait to welcome you back!

Program Schedules and Updates

Sunday Haven – Happening, every Sunday from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

  • 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 support worker on site if you need to get your mail, cheques or transit tickets. Washrooms will be available to use.
  • Dan’s Legacy’s counsellor’s can do phone sessions.

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 to provide 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 [email protected] or (778) 874-7676.

The Sharing Circle meets virtually on Mondays and Tuesdays from 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM via Zoom. Join us to share, ground, heal and connect. Please email Munira Dhall at [email protected] for more details and to sign-up.

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 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM, while quantities last.

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: February 16th – April 6th. See flyer here or contact the Bootstraps Coordinator by calling 778-228-9143 or emailing [email protected].

Tutoring: Since June 2020, SEFFY continues to offer tutoring for our participants online. If youth are interested in tutoring services they can contact SEFFY program staff who will connect youth to a tutor. Access to foundation math support is also being offered, please contact SEFFY staff for more information, or: click here to apply to SEFFY

Branches AYA Life Skills Program is accepting new participants.

Medical Clinic Services

The Nurse Practitioner, Saje Crossen is in every other Wednesday as of January 12, 2022. To book an appointment please call 604-283-3293.

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 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.

Please be ready for your call from 5 minutes 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.

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: 310-678.9
  • 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 reopened our volunteer program, but due to capacity limits in indoor spaces, limited spots and opportunities are available at this time. 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

Our store moved to a new location in 2021. We are now located at 3328 Fraser St Vancouver, BC V5V 4C1. Our current hours of operation are: Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm for online sales, order pick-ups, and donation drop-offs.

Please note we are closed on Sundays, but you can always shop online at Aunt Leah’s Thrift.

Thrift Store donations are accepted by appointment only, to Aunt Leah’s Donation Centre, located at 8380 St George St #101, Vancouver, BC V5X 3S7. Appointments to donate to Aunt Leah’s Thrift can be made by calling 604-376-7238 and emailing a photograph of item(s) to [email protected]

Donations to Aunt Leah’s Thrift Store are used to furnish the homes of the youth and moms in our programs, therefore apartment-sized furniture and appliances in good working condition are highly appreciated.

For the latest updates regarding Aunt Leah’s Thrift Store and Aunt Leah’s Donation Centre click here.

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

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Carrying hand sanitizer if you have it and using it when you don’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

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.

Ministry of Children and Family Development Response to COVID-19 – Last updated: August 10, 2021.
COVID-19 Support for Youth and Young Adults – from MCFD – Last updated: September 21, 2021.
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.

If you or someone you know will be transitioning from care, this downloadable infographic from MCFD is full of resources you might be able to access.

What financial support is available to me?

New Recovery Benefits

The Government of Canada is taking immediate and significant action through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to support people, businesses and organizations facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. If you’re not eligible for EI or if you’ve received the maximum number of weeks of EI regular benefits, you may be eligible for the following benefits:

Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB)

The Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB) gives temporary income support to employed and self-employed people who cannot work due to a COVID-19 lockdown. The CWLB is only available when a COVID-19 lockdown order is designated for your region. If you are eligible for the CWLB, you can receive $300 ($270 after taxes withheld) for each 1-week period. You may apply for any weeks your region is eligible between October 24, 2021 and May 7, 2022.

Learn more about the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) – Extended to May 7, 2022

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) – Extended to May 7, 2022

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 Mondays and Tuesdays from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM, for these ongoing weekly circles to share, ground, heal and connect.

Please contact Munira at [email protected] to register.

Aunt Leah’s Essential Skills: Emotional Resiliency Series

Starting January 26, 2022, join us on the last Wednesday of every month from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm via ZOOM to connect on strategies to support our wellbeing!

Please contact Munira at [email protected] (or by calling 778-878-6455) for more information or to receive the zoom link.

The Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks (FBCYICN) – Fed Connects

Fed Connects is a virtual space that offers youth in and from government care a place to come together, build skills, and access information. Fed Connects hosts a variety of events, programs, and resources like Fed Family Chat, skill-building workshops, consultations, cultural teachings, talent shows and more using a variety of online platforms.

Please contact a staff from FBCYICN to gain access, or request access directly by visiting their Facebook group. For more information visit their website: here.

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