It has been 1 year since the COVID19 Pandemic was declared and we moved to delivering enhanced emergency programs to people under Pandemic conditions. Collectively we have done incredible things together!
It is amazing how many people have been fed, housed and income supports provided. Mental health supports have increased and everyone is providing more support to reduce isolation and to stay connected under these stressful times.
At the Poverty Task Force we recognize everyone who has been part of this fantastic outreach. Thank you! Give yourselves a big hug from us!
While all of us provide help to the community we also have been taking care of ourselves and our families under Pandemic conditions. At a recent Emergency Food Security meeting we reminded ourselves how important it is for us and our teams to reach out for mental health support services to deal with workplace stress and/or workplace harassment. We are in the helping profession but we need to help ourselves too! Don’t hesitate to reach out to the following support services:
- Victim Services Grey Bruce Perth 1-866-376-9852
- The Mental Health Crisis Line of Grey Bruce – 1-877-470-5200
- Call 211 for any other supports
Let’s follow that with some good news! The provincial government has announced additional dollars for the Social Services Relief Fund.
- Grey County will receive $1.77 million in new Social Services Relief Fund money, while Bruce County will get nearly $871,000. This funding will allow current and/or new initiatives to run from April to December 2021. Contact Grey County Housing or Bruce County Housing for details.
EQUITY, INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY
- The Poverty Task Force has recently submitted recommendations to the CIty of Owen Sound’s Official Plan Update for a Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Strategy to be developed through collective action with other community groups, including the Welcoming Communities Committee and M’Wikwedong IFC. This builds upon the work of Community Voices that presented a policy paper Equity and Inclusion for People in Poverty to the City in 2017 followed by their infographic We All Live Here: Toward Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement in Municipal Decision-Making.
- The Community Voices‘ advocacy work has also been featured in Tamarack Institute’s 2019 publication TEN: Engaging People with Lived/Living Experience: a guide for including people in poverty reduction and members are also part of the Rentsafe research and participatory research – We Are All Neighbours.
- The Community Drug and Alcohol Strategy has profiled their newpeer advisory committee of people living with addictions and families of loved ones lost to addiction. They are hoping to improve addiction services in Grey-Bruce with their input. Contact Alison Govier, email@example.com, if you would like to engage with this new committee.
- Upcoming webinar on Community Food Gleaning on March 29th, https://gbsusnet.com/cgn, Join by Zoom Call https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82768739044
- 8,360 Meals have been served through the Meals2Motels partnership from April 2020 to the end of February 2021.
- Good Food Box token purchases or donations can be made by contacting Colleen Trask Seaman, 519-377-7460, firstname.lastname@example.org. The Owen Sound Good Food Box has a new email address for orders and payment: email@example.com.
- February data has been entered for Community Food Programs. (Source: https://www.foodbrucegrey.com/)
- 155,874 meals have been distributed (12 out of 18 programs reporting)
- 48,848.53 kilograms of food diverted (29 out of 41 programs reporting)
- 128,779 kilograms of food distributed reaching 8,519 households (17out of 23 food banks reporting)
- If you are a Community Food Program or reporting on food insecurity in Grey and Bruce Counties and you need a report for donors, your Board or Community you can join https://www.foodbrucegrey.com/. Contact Paul Wagenaar, firstname.lastname@example.org, 519-378-8348 to learn more.
- Grey Bruce School Nutrition Program is looking for food donations for “Grab & Go” bags. Contact Bev Gateman 519-364-5820 x 191.
- Support for Food Bank/Meal Program signage, weigh scales, freezers,fridges and other appliances is available. Contact Paul Wagenaar email@example.com, 519-378-8348.
- Transportation of food and non-food donations – Contact Paul Wagenaar, firstname.lastname@example.org, 519-378-8348.
- Need other resources? Contact info? Contact Jill Umbach, 519-377-9406, email@example.com.
- New funding to Connected for Success, is hoping to reach 750,000 households in Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundlant. Both Grey County and Bruce County Social Housing access this program for their tenants. If you are a housing organization (cooperative or not for profit) not currently partnered with Connected for Success, please download the application form here. Once complete, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org
- The United Way Mattress Program is provided to people who are experiencing homelessness. It can be accessed through a referral from an agency to the United way by email to email@example.com or through an intake link here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JSHJRRN. Applicants cannot self-refer to this program. Please see the attached Q&A info sheet for more details on eligibility.
COMMUNITY BASED COVID19 RECOVERY
- The Labour Market Information Council reports employment among women remains about 5.3% below where it sat in February 2020 just before the first wave of COVID-19, compared to about 3.7% for men. Women in low-income jobs have been the hardest hit. The figures will be among many that a newly formed expert panel will deal with as it advises Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland on the measures she’ll need to take in her upcoming budget to pave the road to an economic recovery.
- The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives new report Women, Work and COVID19 shows that 90,000 more women weren’t doing paid work at the end of 2020 compared to last February, pre-pandemic. Their economic recovery has been stalled—especially among low-income, racialized, Indigenous, and immigrant women. For women to return to the workforce and share in the post-pandemic economic gains, the report argues we are going to need a national, universal child care plan, for starters.
- 10 – A Guide for a Community-Based COVID-19 Recovery is a new resource guide from Tamarack Institute. This resource looks at how communities are recovering from COVID-19 in a variety of ways. Included is an assessment to gauge how a city is working toward a COVID-19 community-based recovery. This provides a baseline and will help communities to explore the ideas and stories included in the guide.
Stay well, Jill