In Lévis, break the isolation, one call at a time

À Lévis, briser l’isolement, un appel à la fois

À Lévis, briser l’isolement, un appel à la fois

In Lévis, since the beginning of the crisis of the COVID-19, the fire department, but also employees of other services, call the citizens of the municipality to see how they go.


May 27, 2020

Updated may 28, 2020 at 15h18


In Lévis, break the isolation, one call at a time

Guillaume Mazoyer

The Sun

“Hello, I’m Simon Vadboncoeur, I am a fireman for the City of Lévis”. In general, if the fire call out to your home, it is that something is not right. In Lévis, since the beginning of the crisis of the COVID-19, the fire department, but also employees of other services, call the citizens of the municipality to see how they go.

The City of Lévis has set up two projects, called “It’s going to go well” and “Arc-en-ciel”, to ensure the well-being of its citizens in this period of a pandemic. Since the beginning of April, the employees have already contacted more than 14 000 households.

“How is your confinement?” continued the fireman Vadboncoeur at the end of the wire. This courtesy call is done in the framework of the project “Arc-en-ciel”. Sixty employees of the city, all volunteers, have the task of calling the homes lévisiens and answer questions they may have.

“The people are happy to receive the call, says Simon Vadboncoeur. In the majority of cases, the citizens are well-informed and adapted to the situation. I often reply that they listen to Mr. Legault, all the days of his conference.” The questions are more at the level of the resumption of municipal services on the pandemic, ” he stressed. For this purpose, the project participants may re-direct citizens to the 211, of existing services or partner agencies.

The family

Beyond the issues, the citizens contacted are simply very happy to be able to discuss. “A lady passed me his mother 97 years old on the phone, tells Caroline Labrecque, committed to the Service of libraries of the City and participant of the project. She was very happy to receive this call, tell me about the method to keep the morale through humor, or even talk to me about his children.”

These calls also allow Lévisiens to confide on their daily lives. A theme often comes up in discussions : that of the family and, sometimes, its absence. “I once had a single person whose spouse was unfortunately deceased,” says Caroline Labrecque. She was just happy to be able to share with someone.”

For Simon Vadboncoeur, it is a call with grandparents-in-residence for the elderly, which has marked it. “They have told me they very much looking forward to finally getting to see their grandchildren,” he says. A health care aide put in place a video chat once a week with their families waiting to be reunited.”

These situations of evictions family also affect volunteers of the project “Arc-en-ciel”. “I miss the colleux of my boy thirty years,” says Caroline Labrecque. So when we call people, we can understand what they are experiencing and it is empathetic.” Montreal-native Simon Vadboncoeur there has not yet been able to return to visit his niece in the metropolis.

“Do you think you have problems of social isolation in this period?” says the employee at the other end of the telephone line. This capital question can find situations that require additional follow-up. A minority of cases is reported in the second project of the city : “It’s going to go well”.

“It’s going to go well”

Taking its name from the sentence symbol of the fight against the pandemic, this project allows to receive a weekly call custom in order to combat social isolation. It is possible to register yourself to this service, or that a third party is in charge. Up to now, twenty citizens were enrolled in the project, “It’s going to go well”.

Secretary for management at the Office of the performance of the City, Hélène Trudel is also called a dozen citizens isolated. “I often answer : “I was expecting your call” picking up “, she says. Activities for the week-end, pet, or new children, Hélène Trudel jase, without counting the minutes. “It takes the time it takes to talk about it,” she says. Force discuss, we also create links with these people.”

The project stakeholders are there to listen and break down the isolation. “I was touched by the ease in which people are open, says Kathleen Gosselin, a participant in the project, and a clerk-secretary in the Directorate of legal affairs and corporate secretariat. Force discuss, one of my interlocutors, who has experienced many trials in his life, realized that he was resilient. I felt stronger then.”

The majority of beneficiaries of this service are women and men in the sixties. There are also a few young people. “I followed a young man isolated, who had left his job and that was far away from his family, describes Hélène Trudel. He finished by returning to work and called me personally to tell me that he no longer had need of the service. I was happy for him.”

In cases that require it, he may recommend the individual to the social workers.

The City of Lévis intends to maintain its two initiatives for the duration of the pandemic.

Le Soleil

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