By Kris Wallace
For 125 years, St. Paul’s has supported its neighbours. Now, our neighbours are supporting us.
During the Depression, word spread that anyone who came to St. Paul’s could get a meal. Some days, the Sisters would feed as many as 700 people. In 1982, amidst widespread panic, St. Paul’s was the only hospital in BC to care for patients with AIDS. Today, while we brave the pandemic to care for our patients, our neighbours are caring for us – and not just during the 7 o’clock cheer!
Times Square Suites, a small hotel at the corner of Denman and Robson, is currently the home-away-from-home for 32 of our frontline staffers. The hotel included a generous Safeway gift card with each room so staff can stock their kitchens. And they’ve partnered with nearby restaurants (yummy places like Tavola and Buckstop) to offer daily specials and discounts. Staff were especially pleased that the Easter Bunny’s “eggs-emption” from the COVID-19 measures meant he was able to deliver eggs and messages to everyone at the hotel.
This is the beating heart that small towns are better known for; yet, it’s happening right here in our big city. And it’s a win-win for everyone. Local businesses stay afloat. Staff get the nutrition and respite they need. And the community can take comfort in knowing its frontline health care workers have what they need to care for some of the most vulnerable people during this pandemic: themselves.
St. Paul’s has always been a place of compassion and grace. It’s a wonderful silver lining in these trying times to discover that our neighbours share these qualities, too.