• Gallery photo

Staying Healthy at the YWCA: Our Response to COVID-19


Updated April 20, 2020 

To our valued YWCA community, 

With the evolving situation of COVID-19, we wanted to update you on measures YWCA Metro Vancouver is taking to ensure the health and safety of our program participants, clients, members, guests, staff and volunteers. 

As an organization that provides critical services to vulnerable people in our community, we are mobilizing to find the right balance between responsibility to the people we serve and caution to keep our community safe. We are closely monitoring all advice and recommendations from provincial and federal health authorities. 

We want to thank everyone for their ongoing cooperation to keep themselves and others in our community safe and healthy.    

For the latest updates and advice, please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website 


Supporting the community response to COVID-19:
  • YWCA Emma's Early Learning and Childcare Centre has opened to provide temporary emergency child care for essential workers, beginning Monday, April 20.
    • Emma’s is part of a network of child care centres across Vancouver that have come together to support parents working on the frontlines of the pandemic.
    • Eligibility and access to these emergency child care spaces is being facilitated by Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre (WCCRC) and the spaces are being offered on a temporary basis.
    • Once Health Authorities recommend that facilities re-open as normal, the child care spaces will be returned to the families who had them prior to the pandemic.  
  • YWCA Health and Fitness Centre has temporarily closed from March 17, until further notice

  • Three of YWCA's four child care centres have temporarily closed from March 23, until further notice. 

  • We will reopen facilities as soon as it is again safe to do so and will keep the community updated in reopeneing plans.

Changes to service: 
  • All upcoming workshops, group gatherings, meetings and events have been cancelled, postponed or moved to virtual and online hosting. Participants are being contacted directly with information.  

  • Our employment centres have made the decision, in line with the recommendations from the BC Centre for Disease Control, to temporarily provide services only through phone, email and online channels effective March 18.

  • Our YWCA Hotel is accepting new bookings again after temporarily suspending bookings in March. Our hotel is currently serving our local community and essential travellers who need accommodation while in Vancouver. 

Cancellations / postponements: 
  • All upcoming workshops, group gatherings, meetings and events have been cancelled, postponed or moved to virtual and online hosting. Participants have been/will be contacted directly. 

  • The Women of Distinction Awards scheduled for May 11, 2020 has been postponed. We are working to find a date later in the year and will keep our community updated.  

Travel advisories: 
  • In line with provincial and federal advice, we are advising the YWCA community to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada and/or to return to Canada as soon as possible if currently traveling. 

  • We are also requiring all YWCA staff, volunteers and clients to stay home and self-isolate for the recommended 14-day period upon returning from any international destination.  

  • For more information, please see the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) travel advice 

Social distancing: 
  • We are advising the YWCA community to practice social distancing. This includes working from home if possible, adjusting services to allow for social distancing and cancelling and postponing events where necessary.  

  • If you develop ANY symptoms, the BC Government is advising people to immediately self-isolate and self-assess. Testing for Covid-19 will be prioritized for vulnerable people. For more information, please read the BC Centre for Disease Control advice on Testing and Isolation 

  • For more information, please read PHAC’s advice 

Response Team: 
  • We have formed a COVID-19 Response Team of YWCA staff which is closely monitoring the situation and taking guidance from international, national, provincial and local health authorities.  

  • This response team is ensuring recommendations and advice are implemented and shared throughout the YWCA community and is also on call to respond to any changes in the situation and adjust services as and when needed.   


We recognize this is a constantly evolving situation and we are committed to keeping our community informed on the latest advice and guidance from public health agencies.   

We want to thank everyone for their ongoing cooperation to keep themselves and others in our community safe and healthy.    

For the latest updates and advice, please visit PHAC’s website 


Hello, My name is Renay, I currently live in subsidized housing with 2 children. I have been off work since March 18th. I am a contract worker and I am not eligible for EI. I am wondering if there is any updated information regarding rent payments for April 1st. I have been in touch with the building manager and have not had a definitive answer. Please let me know if you have any further information. Thank you

Hi Renay, thank you for reaching out. There are a number of additional financial supports available for people who do not qualify for EI but have lost their income as a result of Covid-19. You can read about all the financial supports available to women and their children here. For the most up-to-date information, you can also visit Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses and B.C.'s Financial Supports in Response to COVID-19. If you have any further questions and are a YWCA resident, please reach out directly to the Community Outreach staff member for your building. Stay safe and well - YWCA Metro Vancouver. 

Hi, my name is Sandy. I am wondering if it is possible to reach the YWCA lawyer by telephone at this time. I’m kind of stuck and have no resources to figure out something that I believe a lawyer can quickly reply to. If not, can you point me to some resources in regards to a child’s RESP that my ex and I are not able to resolve at this time? My child needs the RESP funds for tuition, my ex is being especially difficult and this just happens to be a bad time for not being able to find help as well. Thank you

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.