Healthcare Providers Against Poverty is a group of healthcare workers who strive to make healthcare provision equitable for all. Since the COVID 19 pandemic started, healthcare has made a large shift towards telephone or virtual access. HPAP members have noticed a worrying trend: those without phones are struggling to get healthcare. Many of our neighbours in shelters or encampments are currently without phones, and therefore without access to vital health supports.
Think about it. Booking any kind of appointment or follow-up requires a phone call. Many outpatient healthcare appointments are now often conducted via phone or Zoom. Many mental health services have moved to a virtual or phone-based appointments, making the very limited resources available now entirely dependent on a person’s possession of a charged and functional phone. Lastly, and most devastatingly, those without a phone are unable to call 911 in life-threatening emergencies. In a time where over 2000 people are estimated to die from a poisoned opioid supply, and many chronic health issues are worsening due to pandemic-related treatment delays, having an operational phone can be the difference between life and death.
At the same time, the combined forces of lost income and unsustainable rental markets in this pandemic have forced more people out of their homes than ever before. Many people are experiencing homelessness for the first time and we are seeing a substantial increase in the number of people who are vulnerably housed. These people already face innumerable barriers to healthcare, and the lifelong systemic oppression that forces someone to end up homeless also puts them at a higher risk for many chronic and complex physical and mental health conditions.
So, HPAP is proud to share our second donation drive, Connections for Neighbours. The goal of this drive is simple: provide telecommunication technology to people who are vulnerably housed so they can access healthcare and other supports. We have been lucky to work with the incredible community advocates at the Encampment Support Network (ESN) to get an understanding of what supplies are needed and access a channel for the distribution of supplies.
Our goal is to collect donated cell phones and chargers, and also purchase monthly phone plans for those who are given the donated cell phones. In a country where we are so proud of equitable healthcare, efforts such as this are of utmost importance to ensure that our healthcare system truly does remain accessible for all.
Cell phone drop-off location: Cafe Pamenar, Kensington Market
Address: 307 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2M2
Hours: Monday- Friday, 830am-midnight, weekends 10am-midnight
We will arrange pick-up of the phone if you let us know the location
Please email email@example.com for pick-up!
HOW TO PREP YOUR PHONE FOR DONATION:
Any amount helps. Thanks for giving xo-Healthcare Providers Against Poverty