Dear Colleagues, 

We continue to dance. It is now 3 Steps to the left (or right) with a new Roadmap to Reopen Plan. The Government of Ontario is undertaking a phased approach to reopening. When we do, we will no longer be following the guidance and restrictions in the colour coded framework. Instead, reopening will be sector specific. It was also announced that schools will remain closed. Students will continue with remote learning.

Staying connected during this pandemic has been a priority at the Poverty Task Force and many other organizations.  

  • Poverty Task Force/United Way Community Updates: we have shared 61 community updates since March 19th, 2020. In the beginning these were daily, then 2-3 times/week and now weekly. 
  • Demand for 211 supports jumped 40% within the first 2 week of the pandemic. Additional funds ensured 211 was able to directly connect over 470,000 Ontarians to critical supports – from access to housing and food, to mental health services, income relief, employment services and more. 
  • was started up for members of our Emergency Food Security network. It provides technical support, best practices and highlights the work of members.   


  • GBHS Owen Sound Hospital ER now has an Addiction Counsellor to support patients who are discharged from the ER, and who are struggling with drug and alcohol use. ER staff & physicians can book a virtual appointment for patients within 48 hours of leaving the ER so they can speak to the Addiction Counsellor & get connected to local help. The goal is to help reduce the risk of relapse, & reduce repeat visits to the ER. 
  • This service will soon be rolled out to the 5 other GBHS hospital ERs, as well as the South Bruce Grey Health Centre & Hanover and District Hospital corporations.
  • See this NEW report: Changing Circumstances Surrounding Opioid-Related Deaths in Ontario during the COVID-19 Pandemic from the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network.


  • Canada Child Benefit Young Child Supplement: Families with children under the age of 6 in 2021 who receive the Canada Child Benefit will receive an additional supplement beginning May 28th. These payments come from the Federal Government. 
  • If your family’s net income (income after tax is deducted) is $120,000 or less, you will receive $300 per payment for each child under the age of 6. If your family’s net income is above $120,000, you will receive $150 per payment for each child under the age of 6. You may be able to receive up to 4 of these payments in 2021. Go here for the payment breakdown and eligibility. 
  • To receive these payments, you must file your 2019 and 2020 tax returns. 
  • If you were eligible for this supplement in January and April, you will receive those two payments together starting May 28th. If you are eligible for the third and fourth payment, you will receive these in July and October. 
  • Getting Ahead Refresher Course: the Adult Learning Centre will be running a new group in June, 4 days-a-week (Monday to Thursday) on Zoom 10-1pm. This is open to all graduates prior to 2020 regardless of whether they are on OW or ODSP or not.  Participants will receive a “zoom box” prior to the start of the session with everything you’ll need for the course. Contact Sandra Holyer (  


  • Disconnection ban  The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has extended the ban on disconnection notices for residential electricity customers until June 2.   
  • The National Alliance to End Rural and Remote Homelessness, in partnership with Lakehead University researcher, Dr. Rebecca Schiff, is inviting you to participate in a research study about COVID – 19 and its impacts on Rural and Remote Homelessness service providers. Please contact Research Coordinator Ashley Wilkinson at by June 1 2021.
  • Homelessness By Names List: 70 people on the list which is an increase of 10 since May 5th. Age range 16-67. 45 people on this list are experiencing chronic homelessness. 6 people have been housed since May 5th. Completed data sets exist for 42 people, an increase of 11 since May 5. They are identified as Male (25), Female (17), Indigenous (14) and 2SLGBTQ+ (2). 
  • Correction: 2021 Bruce County Home Repairs – funding for 2021 is depleted. But they anticipate more funds in April 2022.
  • Bruce County Housing Stability Fund: Bruce County Human Services has developed a new process for Housing Stability Fund applications. The Integrated Service Assistants (ISAs) at each of the hubs will receive Housing Stability Fund applications and determine eligibility. Submit an application online here.
  •  Applications can also be emailed to 
  • If you require any information or have questions contact the ISAs at:  
    • Penetangore Hub (Kincardine) – 519-396-2116
    • Lakeshore Hub (Port Elgin) – 519-389-5580
    • Peninsula Hub (Wiarton) – 519-534-1286
    • Admin Centre (Walkerton) – 519-881-0431
    • Or 1-800-265-3005




  • The Grey Transit Route is launching a Service Improvement Survey. The survey will direct them to make changes about what new service stops and schedules would be most helpful for residents. Please share the survey with those who use the service and those who need it.  They intend to make updates to the services this fall. 

Stay well, Jill 

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