1. What is GoHere?
GoHere is a washroom access program with a simple solution developed by Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. The GoHere washroom access program is designed to improve washroom access for people with health conditions such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. People with other health conditions, such as those diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, diabetes or Parkinson’s, seniors, or pregnant women and children will also benefit.
GoHere washroom access program consists of three parts:
1. A GoHere decal sticker that businesses receive when they join the program – the GoHere decal shows that they are willing to offer their washrooms to anyone in need, no questions asked.
2. A GoHere Washroom Finder App, free for download to your smartphone or on the web – helps you find washrooms where you are or plan your route
3. A virtual GoHere washroom access card to provide security if you need to show proof of medical need.
2. I want my business to join GoHere. How can we participate?
Please visit the order a decal page and submit your decal form. In recognition of your support, we will identify your business name and location on our website. If you are an employee, please seek permission of the owner and management before joining GoHere.
3. How does the GoHere Washroom Finder App work?
The GoHere Washroom Finder App lists washrooms available in your area (anywhere in Canada!). You can add new locations, rate and comment on existing locations and use the app to find washrooms en route to your destination. The App is free and available on iPhone, Andriod and Blackberry TouchScreen. You can also access the ‘Find a Washroom’ feature on www.go-here.ca.
4. How does the GoHere Washroom Access Card work?
The GoHere Washroom Access Card is a personalized washroom access card to show proof of medical need. The aim of the card is to open washroom doors for people facing emergencies and require to use a washroom that has not yet joined the GoHere Decal program. The GoHere Access Card is available through the GoHere Washroom Finder App.
5. Can retailers still refuse access if you show them the GoHere Washroom Access Card?
The card has been created to help our community access washrooms. It provides a sense of security and we find that most retailers accept it as a need for accessing their washroom. However, some retailers can refuse washroom access despite showing the card. Unfortunately this is not something we can control. Only government issued cards can have legitimacy. For now, the card has Crohn’s and Colitis Canada endorsement and for most this is enough to get them access to washrooms.
6. Why is washroom access important to people with Crohn’s or colitis?
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis cause ulceration and bleeding within the gastrointestinal tract. This, in turn, causes pain, cramping and diarrhea. Sometimes people with Crohn’s or colitis experience a sudden urge to use the washroom, from 5 up to 20 or more times in a single day.
Many people end up staying close to home if they aren’t certain of finding a washroom when they need it, causing significant isolation.
44% of people with Crohn’s or colitis report having had an accident in public because they could not access a washroom.
7. How many people will this benefit in the Calgary area?
There are approximately 3 Albertans diagnosed with Crohn’s or colitis every day. Canada has among the highest rates of Crohn’s and colitis in the world – one in 150 Canadians has the disease. It affects young and old.
In addition to the thousands of people in the Calgary area with these diseases, we anticipate that there are tens of thousands more who would benefit from a program like this. Let’s make our communities fully accessible by adopting the GoHere washroom access program.
8. Why was Calgary chosen for the launch of the GoHere program?
One of the first supporters of the GoHere washroom access program was The Calgary Foundation, who helped us develop the program from the ground up. The Calgary Foundation is dedicated to making their communities inclusive and accessible.
We also found a wonderful team of volunteers here in Calgary who could help us reach out to the Business Revitalization Zones, and gain their support. With Mayor Nenshi and the City of Calgary’s support, we were delighted to launch.
9. Have other cities expressed interest in GoHere?
We have had expressions of interest and support from other communities.
Several cities has expressed support and have endorsed GoHere by opening washrooms in their municipal buildings. Over the course of the next year, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada will be focusing its efforts on establishing GoHere in the following provinces and cities:
- Alberta: Calgary
- British Columbia: Burnaby, Vancouver
- Ontario: Barrie, Mississauga, Ottawa
- Quebec: Montreal
If you are a volunteer or a business and want to get GoHere started in your community, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org . We are eager to work with volunteers, city leaders and staff, as well as the business community to launch the GoHere washroom access program across Canada. It’s easy to do and can be done at virtually no cost.
10. What kind of businesses can join GoHere?
GoHere is open to many different types of businesses and offices. One of our early adopters of GoHere washroom access program is a dental office and hotel. Another in Barrie Ontario is a tire store.
11. What businesses have already signed up for GoHere?
We have a number of businesses across Canada who have already signed up for GoHere washroom access program, and more coming on board every week.
You can see the list of participating businesses. This information can be found in the ‘For Businesses’ tab on the website. We’ll be updating this regularly.
Businesses who are interested can visit the website at www.go-here.ca or by email at email@example.com
12. How will you be rolling this initiative out nationally?
We have a number of plans to roll the GoHere washroom access program nationally.
We will be working with local staff, chapters and volunteers to speak with businesses, business association and municipalities to encourage adoption.
We are talking to municipalities and legislators about planned expansion of washroom access – building it into our infrastructure where we can.
13. How can media connect with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada staff to interview about GoHere?
If you are interested in getting in touch to interview our staff about GoHere, please contact CK DesGrosseilliers (Manager, Marketing and Communications) at CDesGrosseilliers@crohnsandcolitis.ca or 416-920-5035 (toll free: 1-800-387-1479) extension 241.
You can also contact the project lead Natasha Mistry (Manager, Public Policy and Stakeholder Relations) at NMistry@crohnsandcolitis.ca or 416-920-5035 (toll free: 1-800-387-1479) extension 229.
14. How can I get involved and volunteer with GoHere?
If you are interested in getting involved to help further roll out GoHere, you can volunteer and make a significant impact in your community. To become a volunteer, more information can be found at go-here.ca under ‘For Volunteers’. Please fill out the Volunteer Application Form and view our quick 3 minute teaser video for more information on the becoming a GoHere Volunteer. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.