Dear Colleagues, 

We have passed day 100 and we continue to provide emergency services to our community.  Partners have been gathering statistics and stories and we are beginning to put these into reports. 

Canadian-wide data reports have been compiled on the COVID19 impact: 

  • The Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Conference Board of Canada released the survey results on how COVID-19 has impacted Canadians’ mental health. 84% of people surveyed reported that since the onset of COVID19, their mental health concerns had worsened. The biggest mental health concerns were: family well-being, one’s future, isolation/loneliness and anxiousness/fear. 
  • Stats Can just released Food insecurity before and during the COVID-19 pandemic , 2017/2018 and May 2020 and “Food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, May 2020,” published as part of the series StatCan COVID-19: Data to Insights for a Better Canada 
  • As the pandemic continues to affect employment and the economy, it raises questions about the state of housing markets and the design of our communities, along with calls for action to increase affordability and access. A Globe & Mail/CMHC webcast will bring together experts to outline the impacts of the pandemic on housing, along with potential paths forward. Register today to join the webcast on Tuesday June 30th, 2020 from 1:30pm to 2:30pm EDT.

FOOD AND HOUSING SUPPORTS

  • In the wake of Covid-19, our homeless community has struggled with practicing social isolation practices for their own well being while having to travel to food services in order to eat to sustain their health. 
  • Our housing and food security partners continue to support people housed in motels. The United Way Grey Bruce, OSHaRE, St. Aiden’s Church, Habitat for Humanity, YMCA Housing, Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre, M’Wikwedong Native Friendship Centre, Canadian Mental Health Association, Safe ‘n’ Sound, The Women’s Centre, Traveller’s Motel, Travelodge and Key Motel. 
  • As of June 23, YMCA Housing ensured 78 meals in April, 834 meals in May and 814 meals in June were delivered to people. Contact Rachel Paterson, rachel.paterson@osgb.ymca.ca.
  • For women fleeing violence please contact The Women’s Centre Grey Bruce. 
  • For Indigenous community members experiencing homelessness please contact housing workers at M’Wikwedong Indigenous Friendship Centre, Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre, YMCA Housing, or Safe ‘N Sound.   
  • Since April 1st, YMCA Housing has provided 1,346 nights of shelter, 142 households (208 individual placements), In June, 46 households were sheltered todate with 25 households currently being sheltered. 
  • In partnership, the YMCA Housing, Owen Sound Police, Bylaw and CMHA have visited new tent encampments in Owen Sound for wellness checks.   
  • Bruce County Housing is taking applications for a new 35 unit build in Kincardine with a planned occupancy in January 2021. 
  • Grey Bruce Health Unit has updated the Guidelines for Community Food Programs and Guidance for Food Delivery (June 16th). 
  • The Grey Bruce Good Food Box  has 19 locations. Most will be closed over the summer but several will be running – Teeswater, Lucknow and Chatsworth.  Lucknow distributed 250 in June and Owen Sound 111. 
  • The Grey Bruce Good Food Box received a grant from Bruce County and they will be purchasing supplies (new bins, baskets, cleaning supplies, etc), upgrading management systems and providing trainingning to all sites on operating under COVID19 with the aim of have more sites open in the September. 

TRANSPORTATION SUPPORTS

 INCOME SUPPORTS

MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS SUPPORTS

  • The Community Drug and Alcohol Strategy members have been focused on COVID19 medical response but anticipate returning to increasing the time devoted to harm reduction programming soon.   Naloxone kits are available from Grey Bruce Public Health. And Public Health has joined the police to do wellness checks on residences where there have been overdoses. 
  • Safe ‘N Sound and the United Way have partnered to collect Sharp containers – 955 needles were collected in the first 4 days of starting up this initiative.  
  • M’Wikwedong IFC housing staff are working with complex cases of people being evicted from motels (temporary housing) due to addictions. This remains a problem in communities. 

The United Way office will be closed next Wednesday to Friday and many staff, including myself, shall be on holiday.  So there will be no Poverty Task Force/United Way Community Update next week. 

Stay well, Jill 

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