Cathy Hird wrote in a Owen Sound Hub article that “one day is not enough”. Many partners hosted or participated in National Truth and Reconciliation Day/Orange Shirt Day last week. But we must continue to improve relations and to understand what actions we are committed to as “treaty people”.
While May 5th, 2021 was Red Dress Day, this week is Red Dress Awareness Week. October 4th marked Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Awareness Day. A day when we honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people, support grieving families, and create opportunities for healing.
The 2021 National Action Plan responds to the many demands to end violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. It is meant to honour and respect Indigenous and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples’ values, philosophies, knowledge systems, and agencies through the prioritization of Indigenous-led solutions and services, developed in partnership and sustained through the adequate resourcing of this work.
The National Action Plan responds to the Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Métis Perspectives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and LGBTQ2S+ People report.
The National Action Plan is not meant to be frozen in time; it is evergreen, recognizing the urgency for immediate action, but also the importance of continuing to cultivate transformative change over time.
COVID19 IMPACT SURVEY – GREY COUNTY & BRUCE COUNTY
- A county-wide survey is asking Grey County and Bruce County residents how COVID-19 has impacted their daily lives. Residents are being asked to provide feedback on a range of social, economic, and health-related questions. The survey is in partnership with the University of Guelph. Results will help the County and local municipalities make important decisions regarding pandemic recovery efforts. Go to: Grey County Survey or Bruce County Survey.
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS
- Grey Bruce Health Services has announced it will be running a wellness and treatment centre for clients struggling with addiction out of the former Bayview Public School in Owen Sound. Along with the crisis residence, the facility is to offer clinic and counselling services by psychiatrists and nurse practitioners in both individual and group settings. The facility is not designed or intended for treating emergencies or acute cases. The program will focus on Grey-Bruce residents.
- The Ontario government announced over $4.2 million in additional funding annually to support the expansion of 30 new youth treatment beds for Pine River Institute’s mental health and addiction treatment program for youth based outside of Shelbourne.
- For people under 18, you can visit the Kids Help Phone Resources Around Me to locate child and youth mental health services in your area.
- You can also access the Grey Bruce Children’s Alliance‘s 211 Directory on children and youth services in Grey Bruce.
- Indigenous Resilience: Healing Trauma Through Tradition and Resistance. Jessie Thistle with Dr. Gabor Maté, Tiokasin Ghosthorse & Dr. Ruby Gibson on Oct 9th, 2021. To watch, click the link https://jessethistle–sand.thrivecart.com/supporter-fall/, Ticket fees are by donation.
- Tamarack Is hosting a mid-Ontario Rural Community of Practice (CoP) on Tuesday, October 12th from 1-2pm. Dominica McPherson, Coordinator of the Guelph-Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination, will help to kick off our conversation by sharing their YIMBY campaign and how they have reduced overall chronic homelessness by 25% and youth chronic homelessness by 76% in the community. Contact Jill Umbach if you want to join the zoom call.
- Rentsafe Owen Sound Collaborative: our Landlord Survey is still open. Recently Erica Phipps and Jill Umbach joined Mary Jane Murray on Rogers TV. Start at the 30 minute mark for the Rentsafe interview.
- New Rules for Employment Insurance: There are new pandemic-related changes coming to the Employment Insurance system that took effect Sunday, September 26. This is a list of a few changes. To see all criteria, visit Service Canada at https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei.html.
- Eligibility: In the last year, EI applicants received a one-time top-up of hours to help them qualify. This ends and is replaced by a requirement to have worked 420 hours to qualify. These hours will be in place until September 24, 2022.
- To qualify for EI-Sickness benefits, the government is again requiring a medical certificate proving the applicant is sick and can’t work. This requirement was waived over the last year because of COVID-19.
- Benefits: The weekly minimum payment will decline to $300/m from $500/m.
- Regional unemployment rates will once again be used to calculate the duration and value of benefits.
- Anyone with an existing EI claim won’t see any changes to the value or duration of their benefits with the new rules.
- Seasonal workers in 13 regions will still be eligible for 5 extra weeks of EI regular benefits until October 2022. This is specific to seasonal workers who started claims between August 5, 2018 and this coming October 30th and depends on them having 3 claims for regular or fishing benefits in the last 5 years, and at least 2 starting around the same time of year.
FOOD SECURITY SUPPORTS
- Meals2Motels: After 19 months, the United Way is phasing out of the Meals to Motels program as of September 30th. Close to 12,500 OSHaRE meals were delivered to those housed in motels.
- OSHaRE remains available to support people with meals twice a day.
- The YMCA Housing team will ensure there are frozen meals at the Key Motel in Chatsworth.
- OSHaRE served more than 10,000 meals in August 2021. In all of 2019, OSHaRE served 22,000 meals.
- Pre-pandemic, OSHaRE was serving about 100 meals per day, and that rose to about 300 to 350 in the spring of 2020. Currently they are serving between 150 and 200 people at lunch Monday to Saturday and from 280 to 350 at dinner Monday to Friday. All meals remain take-out due to the pandemic.
- OSHaRE has observed that the rising cost of food and cost of living in general means they are seeing more people that need our service than ever before. There is no sign of the need waning.
- Since March 2020, the Owen Sound Salvation Army has provided practical food assistance valued at $1,001,890.00.
- They have added an additional 321 new households that have never needed to use Food Bank services since the start of the pandemic.
- The United Way has released its 2022 call for United Way grants. Deadline is December 10th, 2021. Contact Francesca Dobbyn to discuss ideas and potential partnerships. All the details, online application links, PDFs of the questions and any updates are on the United Way’s website: https://unitedwayofbrucegrey.com/about-us/community-impact-grants/2021-granting-call/
- The Ontario government has announced a new $1.6 million Anti-Racism Anti-Hate Grant Program. Eligible organizations, including community-based, not-for-profit organizations, can apply for grants of $40,000 over 2 years for independent projects, or $100,000 over 2 years for partnerships between two or more organizations.
Stay well, Jill