Poverty Task Force/Community Update # 89

Dear Colleagues, 

Ajuinata – is this a word that explains where we are at right now? 

Ajuinata is an Inuktitut word rooted in a spirit of perseverance against harsh conditions. In a recent CBC interview, Governor General Mary Simon, explained ajuinata means that “if you’re confronted with adversity or things that are difficult, you keep going, you don’t give up, and you need to make a commitment to continue to make changes.” 

This describes so many community partners in Grey Bruce. We continue to work under pandemic conditions and numbers of people supported are not going down, but rising.  The month of March 2022 saw the highest numbers of people fed at community food programs and the numbers of people are high at drop-in services such as Safe ‘N Sound. 

  • Vital Signs on Housing Report will be released on May 12th, 2022 at the Harmony Centre, Owen Sound. The public is invited to learn about the findings related to housing in Grey and Bruce Counties that address affordability and accessibility, equity, living standards, and wellbeing. Please register in advance.  
  • National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit people (MMIWG2S) is May 5, 2022. Events are planned for the day, including a Community Fire at Gitche Namewikwedong Reconciliation Garden. 
  • National Action Plan on Combating Hate: the federal government  has launched consultations to develop a National Action Plan.  People are encouraged to complete an online questionnaire by May 4, 2022, especially those with lived experience of hate.  
  • SOS Mobile Outreach has expanded to include new sites – Chesley Baptist Church (May 26th, 12-4) and Stonetree. 


  • foodbrucegrey.com update: 16, 872 community meals in March 2022 represents the single highest number of meals provided since before the pandemic began. 
  • 17,941 lbs of food was diverted to meal programs and food banks; this is the highest monthly total ever by food organizations in Grey Bruce. 
  • 121,168 lbs (54 tons) of food was distributed by food banks since 1 Jan 2022 in Grey Bruce. More than 600 children benefited. 
  • 70,000+ hours were donated by volunteers from Jan 2020 – April 2022. The hours donated equals more than $1,900,000 (based on Volunteer.ca calculations). 
  • Community gardens are preparing for the 2022 growing season. In 2021, they generated, measured and distributed more than 44,000 lbs of produce.  
  • Food Thoughts: is a source for information on Food Banks, Community Meal Programs, Community Gardens, and good food information.


  • Social Services Relief Fund (SSRF) Phase 5 funding:  The Province has extended funding to assist agencies providing services to our most vulnerable populations to navigate through Covid 19 to the end of Dec 2023. The funds will be used to continue to fund current services and supports that address the negative impacts of Covid 19.  
  • Grey County received $878,000 to  support emergency shelter, stationary and mobile outreach support for mental health, Indigenous housing, community food programs, drop-in centres and rent arrears. 
  • M’Wikwedong Indigenous Housing Support Program: total 86 households being supported;  average 100 households quarterly being served. This quarter numbers were less due to staff capacity. 
    • total 35 youth being supported; is an increase from the last quarter of 16 youth.
    • 25 are single youth (29%), 6 youth-lead families (7%), 25 youth chronically homeless (71%),  16 youth w/severe mental health & addictions “unhouseable” (53%). 
    • Their Indigenous transition units are full.  
  • Youth By Name List: as of 26 Apr 2022
    • 42 active youth (9 under 18), 
    • 32 referred within Grey County; 10 referred within Bruce County
    • 13 self-identified as Indigenous
    • 7 reported sleeping outside most frequently
    • 31 chronically homeless 
    • 4 identified as being trafficked or at risk of being trafficked
  • Acuity Assessment
    • High (7-10): 13 youth
    • Mid (4-6): 7  youth
    • Low (0-4): 18 youth
    • No Assessment Completed: 4 youth
  • By Name List Update:  as of April 21st 2022
    • 173 active individuals/families
    • 50 individuals/families self-identified as Indigenous:
    • 137 individuals/families active and presenting in Grey County at time of referral
    • 32 individuals/families active and presenting in Bruce County at time of referral
    • 5 individuals/families housed in Mar 2022 and 6 as of 21 Apr 2022.
  • Acuity Assessment:
    • High (8-10): 18 Individuals Families
    • Mid (4-7): 62 Individuals/Families
    • Low (0-3): 65 Individuals/Families
    • No Assessment Completed: 28 Individuals/Families
  • Unsheltered By Names List update: as of 26 Apr 2022
    • 50 active households listed as unsheltered/sleeping rough most frequently
    • 7 unsheltered youth (0 under 18)
    • 44 unsheltered and chronically homeless 
    • 14 unsheltered and identified as Indigenous
    • 1 unsheltered in Bruce County
    • 49 unsheltered in Grey County
  • Acuity of those sleeping rough:
    • High (7-10): 18 Individuals Families
    • Mid (4-6): 18 Individuals/Families
    • Low (0-3): 10 Individuals/Families
    • No Assessment Completed: 4 Individuals/Families


  • Winter Disconnect Ban: ends April 30th. Residential customers are protected from electricity and gas service disconnections for non-payment from November 15 to April 30. Contact 211 to access the following support programs in Grey Bruce: 
    • Ontario Electricity Support Program – Reduces electricity bills by providing eligible low-income customers with a monthly on-bill credit generally ranging from $35 to $75, depending on household income and size to reduce bills going forward. 
    • Low-income Energy Assistance Program – This year, eligible low-income customers who are in arrears may receive a one-time grant towards their electricity and gas bills, up to an annual maximum of $1,000 (up to $1,200 for homes that are electrically heated. 
    • Special Rules for Low Income Earners – Distributors must follow special rules when dealing with low-income customers; for example, waiving security deposits and allowing longer payment times under arrears payment. 


  • Grey Bruce Youth Film Festival: submissions due May 13, 2022 (students in Grades 7-12). Youth are invited to submit short films up to 10 minutes in length to be screened at the Galaxy Cinemas (COVID permitting) in Owen Sound as part of the Grey Bruce Youth Film Festival. For complete rules, please contact Nadia Danyluk at ndanyluk@library.osngupl.ca

Stay well, Jill