Dear Colleagues, 

We continue to play a role in supporting communication and coordination amongst partners through the Poverty Task Force. It is a credit to all partners, community organizations, businesses and volunteers that so many essential services are still running! Thank you! 

Our collective actions and good relations are allowing us to move quickly and to examine where the gaps are and try to overcome barriers. 

COMMUNICATION SUPPORT 

We continue to maintain our COVID19 Resource Page and send out Community Updates on available services and other resources. In addition, please see: 

  • The Grey Bruce Public Health is a first source of information and generates the Guidelines for the delivery of many essential services.   
  • Informationbrucegrey.ca is our local 211 directory.  A new poster has been prepared to share out on what 211 can do for people. 
  • Grey Bruce Huron Strong is a new information portal created by the Nuclear Innovation Institute and Bruce Power.  Links to social support includes the Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force  as well as other partners.  There is a free app to download. 

RISK COMMUNICATION & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT 
Marginalized people become even more vulnerable in emergencies.The COVID-19 outbreak is predicted to have significant impacts in various sectors. The populations most at risk are those that:

  • depend heavily on the informal economy;
  • occupy areas prone to shocks;
  • have inadequate access to social services or political influence;
  • have limited capacities and opportunities to cope and adapt and;
  • limited or no access to technologies.

By understanding these issues, we can support the capacity of vulnerable populations in emergencies. We can give them priority assistance, and engage them in decision-making processes for response, recovery, preparedness, andrisk reduction.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE SUPPORTS 

  • M’Wikwedong IFC continues to provide services under COVID-19.  They have outlined their services in their latest newsletter

HOUSING SUPPORTS

  • There is considerable work being done to house people who are in need of housing.  The YMCA Housing is tracking numbers but have indicated that there are some 13 cases of people being homeless due to COVID19.  Housing partners are working out emergency plans with hotels if we were to experience any quarantine housing for anyone homeless who tests positive.  We anticipate new protocols will be rolled out around testing amongst this vulnerable population. 
  • Thanks to the Food Banks and other Community Food Programs that have assisted those housed in motels/hotels to receive food.  
  • The Public Health has released COVID19 Considerations for Women’s Shelters.  Challenges exist with women fleeing violence and finding shelter. 

INCOME SUPPORTS 

  • The Federal government’s $73B Wage Subsidy Bill was passed by the Senate and received Royal Assent. The program is expected to be rolled out within 2 – 4 weeks.
  • Almost 6 million Canadians have applied for support under the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
  • Employment and Workforce Development Minister Qualtrough has urged the provinces not to claw back this benefit to those on provincial social assistance. While Ontario has indicated that it is reviewing the CERB and considering its impact on those on social assistance, British Columbia has decided to exempt social assistance recipients from having this benefit clawed back.
  • Some $50 million in federal support is going to farmers and food processors so they can cover the costs of mandatory quarantine for foreign workers coming into Canada to help with farm labour shortages.
  • CRA Income Tax Filing:  Canada Revenue Agency has extended the deadline for individuals to file to 1 June 2020 and the deadline to pay any amounts owed has been extended to 1 Sept 2020.  Note: some taxpayers may have received a Notice of Assessment that says the deadline for payment is 30 April 2020, which is incorrect. 
  • Supplements: GST supplement was paid out on April 9th. The Canada Child Tax Benefit supplement is scheduled to be paid out in May as part of the regular cycle of payment.  Questions regarding the taxes and the CERB application can be directed to: 1-800-959-8281 to reach a service agent. 
  • Community Volunteer Income Tax Clinics: the Free Community Income Tax Grey Bruce List is being updated by 211 as information comes in from each Coordinator.  Due to concerns regarding COVID 19, call to find out if clinics are ON HOLD or are providing service.   At present, we know that The Meeting Place and the YMCA Employment Services will accept drop-offs.  

FOOD SUPPORTS

  • We continue to regularly update the Community Food Programs List.  Many of the Good Food Boxes are still open this month and others are closed for a variety of reasons.  We have now included only the ones which are OPEN this month on the list. 

ADDICTION SUPPORTS 

HURON PERTH SUPPORTS 

  • As we know, there is always a lot of “cross-border” support for community members. Huron Perth has a COVID19 Facebook Resource Group that is coordinating support and directing public enquiries.  The Facebook Group is being monitored by Huron County Library staff and directing people to public health or 211 information services or updating people on  social agencies’ activities. 
  • North Huron Food Share  is working on the delivery of food hampers to social housing units in Huron and Bruce Counties (Teeswater and Lucknow). They also reached out to schools via Principals to distribute lunch hampers for kids (2 weeks worth) recognizing those families that relied on breakfast & lunch school programs. 
  • The Huron Out of the Cold Emergency Overnight Shelter in Goderich has closed. Guests have been moved to motels to observe social isolation.  A real challenge exists with motels who will not accept guests who are COVID19 positive.  
  • The Huron Perth Social Research & Planning Council will be carrying out a Non-Profit/Charity Survey, producing a COVID 19 Impact report and developing a Recovery Plan for this sector.    
  • The Huron Domestic Assault Review Team (Huron DART) is working with Bruce Power to distribute a Violence Prevention/Victim Services Resource flyer throughout Huron-Grey-Bruce.  

Stay well, Jill 

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