OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre in the COVID-19 Crisis
OSNS is a non-profit, pediatric and youth therapy centre focusing on the assessment, education, and individualized habilitation/rehabilitation treatment of developmental challenges in children aged 0 -16. For over 40 years, OSNS has provided vital early intervention assessment and treatment programs to children in the South Okanagan/Similkameen with specialists for children with communication, mobility, cognitive, behavioural difficulties including autism treatment. OSNS provides a wide range of developmental programming, family support and parent education classes
OSNS is experiencing significant financial and operational hardships during the COVID-19 Crisis. The hardships experienced by individuals, businesses and other non-profit organizations across our country have been far-reaching. COVID-19 has been particularly impactful on the OSNS organization. Although OSNS has taken significant actions to lessen the monetary impacts of COVID-19, the future of the Centre and its important programming stands in jeopardy.
Due to social distancing measures, all non-essential services of OSNS have been put on hold since March 18. This has meant that fee for service treatment funding and program fees have been lost. The majority of our community fundraising events have been cancelled. Events such as the Wildstone Colours4Kids Run, Area 27 “Cars for a Cause “ that were vital to funding the organizations bottom line are not going to take place in the near future. With that, OSNS is struggling to meet its fixed cost obligations.
Many highly trained and dedicated employees of OSNS have been furloughed or have reduced their hours of work to keep the centre viable. OSNS has been in contact with our federal MP, Dick Cannings and provincial MLA, Dan Ashton who have been incredibly responsive and compassionate to the difficulties experienced by OSNS. However, the federal and provincial governments have not yet responded to COVID-19 tailored plan for non-profit early intervention centres. OSNS has applied for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to cover employee wages. However, the implementation of the subsidy and its impact on the Centre are still unknown.