Dear Colleagues, 

As we moved through the first wave of COVID19 we quickly mobilized our community resources and pulled together all across Grey Bruce to ensure that people were housed, fed and had access to income supports. 

As we climb over the “six-month-wall”, gloomy thoughts about the second wave and winter seem to dominate our conversations.  

Author Nancy Doyle quotes Professor Aisha Ahmad in an article on getting through the six-month mark – “The six-month mark in any sustained crisis is always difficult. We have all adjusted to this “new normal,” but might now feel like we’re running out of steam. Yet, at best, we are only one third of the way through this marathon. How can we keep going?” 

The article goes on to offer strategies for coping and paying attention to our wellbeing. Professor Ahmad says that it can take another 5-6 weeks to get past that 6-month wall to begin to adapt to a more long-term reality. “Right now, if you can meet your obligations and be kind to your loved ones, you get an A+”

Recently we spoke to Rev. David Shearman on Politically Speaking/Rogers TV about our collective efforts and what’s next over the next 6 months. 

And we have officially released our IMPACT Report 2020  for October 17th –  the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.   

INCOME SUPPORTS 

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) – ended when people received 28 weeks of benefits or on October 3, 2020, whichever came first. For those who applied through the Canada Revenue Agency, the last four-week period for the CERB was August 30, 2020 through September 26, 2020. However, you can still apply for the CERB retroactively through CRA.
  • Employment Insurance –  As of September 27, 2020, there are some temporary changes to the EI program to help you access EI benefits. These changes will be in effect for 1 year. Find out if you qualify:
  • If you received CERB through Services Canada – After you receive your last CERB payment, continue completing reports. In most cases, you do not need to apply for EI benefits. They will automatically review your file and your Record of Employment (ROE, then start a claim for EI regular benefits if you qualify. If you don’t qualify, you’ll be notified by mail. 
  • You will need to apply for EI after your CERB ends if:
  • you have a SIN that starts with a 9
  • you’re self-employed, or
  • you declared that you returned to work full-time on your CERB report
  • If you received CERB through Canada Revenue Agency – You need to receive all your CERB payments before applying for EI benefits. You can apply after the end of your last CERB eligibility period. Visit EI benefits and leave to determine which benefit is right for your situation and to apply online. 
  • Canada Recovery Benefit – applications opened October 12th. This benefit gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. 
  • The CRB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period. If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between Sept 27, 2020 and Sept 25, 2021. 
  • Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit –  will provide $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to 26 weeks per household for workers unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19, or because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in one-week periods. 
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit –  will provide $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19, self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19, or have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in one-week periods.

FOOD SUPPORTS

  • 3,430 meals were delivered to people sheltered in Hotels/Motels from April to Sept 2020. This is a partnership of YMCA Housing, M’Wikwedong, The Women’s Centre, OSHaRE, Habitat for Humanity and the United Way Bruce Grey funded by Grey County. 
  • 65,449 meals have been served to people across Grey Bruce through OSHaRE, YUM Program/South East Grey Community Health Centre, St. Aidan’s Presbyterian Church and Union Place/CMHA – Owen Sound. 
  • 192,000 lbs of nonperishable food has gone out from The Salvation Army – Owen Sound since March 2020. Many of the surplus food donations have been distributed out to other food banks across Grey Bruce through a new Keeping Not-For-Profit Connected program led by The Salvation Army Owen Sound and OSHaRE. 
  • A new Food App – Food Bruce Grey has been developed to track the distribution of food by partners through a partnership of the United Way Bruce Grey, Bruce Power and the Nuclear Innovation Institute. 
  • Grey Bruce Health Unit has updated their COVID19: Guidelines for Community Food Programs. 

TRANSPORTATION SUPPORTS 

  • The City of Owen Sound’s  Guelph Owen Sound Transportation (‘GOST’) service will be operating on a revised timetable effective Monday, October 19, 2020. 
  • The morning departure from Guelph has been moved ahead 15 minutes while the afternoon departure from Owen Sound will now depart one hour later than the previously scheduled departure time. 
  • The adjustment will shorten layover times at Guelph Central Station and the Owen Sound Transit Terminal. Please visit our website or the Owen Sound Transit Terminal for information on the revised timetable. 
  • For more information, please contact Cassandra Cesco at 519-376-4440 ext. 3223 or email at ccesco@owensound.ca. 
  • The City of Owen Sound received funding from the Provincial Government’s Community Transportation Grant Program to fund the GOST service until 2023. 
  • The GOST transit service takes 2 hours and 15 minutes to make a one-way trip to Guelph Central Station. 
  • 156 passengers utilized the GOST.
  • Grey Transit Route (GTR) has expanded to include routes from Flesherton to Walkerton and return. 

HOUSING SUPPORTS

  • 3,515 nights of shelter have been provided by the YMCA Housing to 426 individuals in 289 households. 
  • The Anti-Human Trafficking Committee is hosting two free virtual events to wrap up our two-year anti-human trafficking work on Nov 25th and 26th.   On Thurs, Nov 26 they are hosting a half day session for service providers. 
  • The virtual event will include a presentation by Kaitlin Bick and Karly Church and  allow service providers the opportunity to review the new tools and resources created by the anti-HT committee. The event will conclude with an discussion about how service providers can work together to address human trafficking in Grey and Bruce counties.  
  • This is a free event but  registration is required. For you more information please contact Jon Farmer  at 519-379-2574 or htcommittee@violencepreventiongreybruce.com.
  • Grey Bruce Health Unit has updated its Guidelines for Multi-Unit Dwellings.

HEALTH EQUITY 

YOUTH ENGAGEMENT 

  • Community Foundation Grey Bruce will be hosting two online interactive Vital Conversations with young adults on October 20 and 22, 2020.  These Vital Conversations will check in with people between the ages of 18 and 30 on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, their readiness for a changing work environment, their economic and holistic wellbeing. 
  • The online sessions will be held from 7 to 8:30 pm on October 20 and 22 and will be facilitated by Melri and Mike Wright of Ledge Leadership. The first meeting on Tuesday, October 20 will take a World Café style sharing knowledge and creating possibilities for action built on the notion of group intelligence.    
  • The second meeting, on Thursday October 22, presented in collaboration with Georgian College Centre for Changemaking and Social Innovation, will utilize an online design thinking platform that encourages visual collaborative thinking.  
  • To register go to: www.communityfoundationgreybruce.com

Stay well, Jill 

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