Is the social impact workforce ready for the next emergency?

Reimagining capacity: Building the workforce for future preparedness

Why It Matters

COVID-19 exacerbated many deadly health emergencies — including the opioid crisis — and limited the social impact sector’s ability to respond. Lessons from this time can help build readiness to respond to all types of catastrophes more effectively and proactively.

This story is in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross.

“I know what it’s like to be looked at as the bottom-of-the-barrel of society. I remember standing in line at the methadone clinic and people writing me off as a human being just because of where I was,” says Chris Cull, now nine years into his recovery from an opioid addiction. 

Today, Cull is a lived experience advocate who volunteers his time helping organizations and governments improve the prevention and treatment of substance misuse. Cull says his lived experience makes his advocacy and volunteerism even more crucial. And he says the need is greater today, still in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, which exacerbated Canada’s opioid crisis. 

“It’s always getting worse,” says Cull. “There’s never been a time in my 15 years where I’ve seen it getting bet

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