Urgent Call for Help – Sew isolation gowns for the front-line workers serving the homeless and street communities in Ottawa

Ottawa’s homeless and street communities are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Many living on the street or in homeless shelters will soon become ill with the disease. Ottawa Inner City Health (OICH) is an organization that provides health care to these people.
OICH is gearing up to be ready to care for them when COVID hits hard.

Dr. Jeff Turnbull, past President of the Canadian Medical Association and Medical Director of OICH will be leading a 24-hour medical team, along with other physicians, to care for those who would otherwise have nowhere else to go. OICH has a mobile unit that has been visiting shelters and other spots around the city, to help identify people in the city’s homeless population who could have COVID-19.

Wendy Muckle, CEO of OICH, and her team of volunteers, have also converted a downtown Community Centre to a self-isolation facility for the homeless and street communities that do, or are thought to have, COVID-19.

While all this incredibly needed work is going on, OICH is critically short of medical gowns. THESE FRONT-LINE WORKERS NEED GOWNS!

On behalf of OICH, a group of volunteers is setting up a project (we call it Operation Gown), to get the local sewing community to produce the required isolation gowns.

We are reaching out to all Ottawa area guilds and sewing groups to spread the word. Please volunteer to make these gowns to protect our front line workers. We will send you the pattern, we can get fabric to you if you need it, and we will pick up the completed gowns. 

Just e-mail ottawagowns4homeless@gmail.com to get started.

NOW is the time to uncover your stash and GET SEWING! With a limited budget, OICH needs all the help they can get.

More info available on Facebook and Instagram.

If you are not a sew-er we encourage you to help in other ways:

  • You can donate or purchase fabric for others to sew
  • You can donate funds to purchase fabric. Go to the Ottawa Inner City Health donation page
  • You can volunteer to drive to drop off fabric or pick up completed gowns
  • You can volunteer to help coordinate the effort

If you can help, we need you to let us know and you will receive precise instructions.

Please e-mail: ottawagowns4homeless@gmail.com

See more on Facebook and Instagram.

Please pass this on to anyone that may be interested, Thank You!

The Operation Gowns Team



More info on what OICH is doing from CTV Ottawa.