House of Sophrosyne, based in Windsor, ON provides community and residential programs to help women across the province struggling with substance use. According to Doris Stillman, Program Director; when COVID-19 hit, they had to quickly adapt their service delivery to support the clients. Before the pandemic House of Sophrosyne had some experience offering Breaking Free, a licensed evidence based addiction recovery program, virtually as well as some virtual programming. They were able to continue to offer Breaking Free during the pandemic when the license was extended without any additional cost. They also increased their virtual programming to continue to support women from all over Ontario as the House of Sophrosyne is a Provincial resource.  

House of Sophrosyne invited the Health unit to inspect their residential facility and received direction to restrict the number of clients to 7 from 19 (pre-COVID capacity) to ensure physical distancing could take place. They also modified storage for safe delivery and use of methadone/suboxone.  The ongoing struggle of long wait times for residential services was exacerbated during the pandemic.  As House of Sophrosyne expanded the virtual services they were offering using Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) and Zoom, they noted some reductions in their wait time at first but found it hard to keep ahead of the needs as COVID 19 continues to create more isolation thus resulting in an increase in substance use and services. As per Doris Stillman, various rapid service adjustments were made including shortening residential program from 5 weeks to 3 week, limiting to 7 local women clients to reduce the risk of COVID infections. They purchased additional supplies and equipment to support staff, upgraded their IT infrastructure for virtual program delivery and cell phones were purchased as well phones were donated to support others agencies in the community. Clients have expressed their satisfaction over virtual support during these challenging times. In spite of staffing challenges and limited resources, they have provided services to over 450 women and some men during this period and in order to sustain these changes and maintain capacity to provide virtual programs and reduce wait time, they are applying to grants for additional funding. The wait list continues to grow as the need increases. 

Wow! Impressive work modifying your service delivery to support your clients during these challenging times! We look forward to hearing more!

If your agency is currently engaging in rapid quality improvement work the E-QIP Team is here to help you document your experience!  Download our “Quick QI template” and email us at to speak with a coach about your QI initiatives during COVID-19!