Poverty Task Force/United Way Community Update #25

Dear Colleagues, 

There is an abundance of surveying happening of the non-profit sector and of families/individuals as we try to determine the new context in which we’re working.  

  • In May 2020, the Community Foundation Grey Bruce released its survey results of the Impact of COVID19 on the non-profit sector. 
  • While local organizations remain optimistic about the future, the survey results reveal that many local organizations are concerned about financial difficulties, even possibly facing closures in the future, but anticipate an increased need for their services, particularly related to food security and mental health support. 
    • Of the respondents, 87% identified the cancellation of events and/or fundraising activities as a challenge being experienced. 
    • Over 40% of the organizations face financial difficulties and many will need to adjust how they operate to remain viable in the future. 
    • The current restrictions have resulted in 60% of local organizations closing until these restrictions can be lifted with many organizations concerned about how they will generate momentum for public gatherings. 
  • The Community Foundation Grey Bruce has also announced the recipients of its Emergency Community Support Funds.
  • The United Way of Bruce Grey announced the recipients of its Emergency Community Support Funds.  Community Foundation Grey Bruce collaborated with United Way Grey Bruce on the adjudication of applications from our region.  A large portion of the both funds went towards emergency food programs.  

At a recent Tamarack mid-Ontario Regional meeting of Community of Practice, it was noted that incidences of reporting abuse have dipped for women, children, and youth. However, it’s believed that incidences have actually increased and are going unseen and unreported while we are in isolation. The upcoming school year is of concern for kids at-risk.  

  • Victim Services Bruce Grey Perth is asking community partners to complete their Strategic Planning Survey. This survey will be open for 10 days (August 7 – 17, 2020). 

Discussions are underway with Grey Bruce Children’s Alliance members, 4 County Labour Market Planning Board and BGDISC to support a Precarious Work Survey that would also ask about COVID19 impacts on families.   

Some Key Findings for Families (National Survey Data) shared recently by a Four County Labour Market Planning Board researcher with Grey Bruce Children’s Alliance showed: 

  • Overall, approximately 4 in 10 Canadian workers are in jobs that can plausibly be carried out from home. 
  • Among Canadians who are not yet back in the irregular workplace, close to 4 in 10 do not feel safe returning (June 2020). 
  • Over 1 in 4 parents said they would not use childcare when it reopens. 
  • Financial insecurity is greatest for families that had lower incomes pre-pandemic. 
  • Educational and mental health impacts are most pronounced for children from lower income families.

Sources of National Data Surveys: 

Anticipated use of Childcare after COVID-19

   Impact of COVID-19 on Families

   Impact of COVID-19 on Victim Services Programs

   Impact of COVID-19 on Visible Minority Groups

   Parents Supporting Learning at Home

HOUSING SUPPORTS

  • YMCA Housing Services have assisted 402 people with a total of 2,627 nights of safe shelter across Grey Bruce since April 1st (6 Aug 2020). 97 people were sheltered in July across Grey Bruce.  This is with the assistance of various Police services and the Safe ‘N Sound volunteer after hours phone line. 
  • Safe ‘N Sound has fielded calls during this pandemic from 4:30-10pm daily and assisted with approximately 86 people to access 93 nights of safe shelter.
  • YMCA housing staff wish to salute these dedicated volunteers and community partners, along with the local motels who continue to provide rooms for people in need.

COMMUNITY FOOD SUPPORTS 

  • GBHU has updated the Guidelines for Community Food Programs under Stage 3.
  • Community Food Programs are planning for operational changes as they continue to provide meals/food baskets during the winter season.  
  • Community meal programs continue to see high numbers in July and August.   
    • OSHARE served the most meals ever in July with 222 people at one meal. Demand for meals remains very high.  
    • The YUM program serving South East Grey prepared 525 in June and 841 meals in July. They are estimating 1,000 meals will be needed in August.  
    • St. Aidan’s prepared 680 meals in July and anticipated just under that in August.  
    • Chesley Baptist Church served (93 meals/week in July and anticipated 125 meals/week in August). 
  • Since mid-March 40,000 meals have been served under pandemic conditions.  Over 46,000 meals  have been served since January 1st.  

INCOME SUPPORTS

  • The COVID19 Emergency Support from OW and ODSP has been updated: 
    • End of Emergency Benefit (no longer available as of July 31st)
    • Updated application/intake info for ODSP (intake extension number and applicable online access)
    • Updated hours of operation for ODSP (as of August 4th)
    • Updated Federal Government Financial Supports info (Federal Government Financial Support weblink added)
    • Updated web addresses (bottom on page 2)
      • Federal government supports
      • ODSP online application 
  • Safe Restart Program: The Ontario government announced, in partnership with the federal government, it is providing $234.6 million in funding to help child care operators, EarlyON Child and Family Centres, and First Nations Child and Family Programs 
  • Funds will be used to increase cleaning and infection control, ensure staff have access to personal protective equipment, promote physical distancing, purchase additional cleaning supplies, and support staffing needs. 

Stay well, Jill