Poverty Task Force/United Way Community Update # 93

Dear Colleagues,

While the Hanover downtown core of reopened for vehicles and pedestrians on Tuesday morning, the response to the fire that destroyed the Hanover Inn (known as The Forum) and apartments above the neighbouring stores. The good news is no lives were lost other than pets. Initially it was reported that 80 people were homeless, but the actual number is much lower. Approximately 44 people are still looking for housing support today. The stories shared speak to the traumatizing experience of the fire and the complex needs of many of the residents.

An incredible response was quickly put in place by partners and Grace United Church opened their doors to act as a response centre. By Friday, the Town had called an emergency and opened up the P&H Centre. By Sunday, this was closed due to low numbers needing a physical shelter and the opening up of more rooms at Hanover motels.

Ongoing support is happening. Check the 211 record for the latest updates on community response. People needing assistance should contact 211 or contract direct services in Hanover: 

  • Grey County Ontario Works Hanover (286 10th Street), 519-376-2208
  • YMCA Housing Hanover (Unit 7-425 10th Street), 519-364-3163 
  • CMHA Hanover (Unit 8-425 10th Street), 519-364-7788

ELECTION EDUCATION

In this final week of campaigning for the provincial election on June 2nd, we have a few highlights of upcoming events:

  • The Senior Centre Without Walls/Blue Mountains will be hosting 3 online Meet the Candidate sessions: 
    • May 24th, 11am, Selwyn Hicks, Liberal (past)
    • May 25th, 11am, Karen Gventner, NDP 
    • May 26th,11am, Rick Byers, PCOntari
  • People from BGOS & SimcoeGrey Ridings can meet the candidates by phoning in at: 1- 866-279-1594, pass code 852340#. 
  • May 25th, Meet & Greet event 5:30 – 8pm,  in-person, the Collingwood Public Library.  David Ghobrial, New Blue Party, and Rodney Sacrey of the Ontario Party will present party platforms and there will be a Q & A.
  • Ontario Association of Councils on Aging: election advocacy priority issues are health care, social participation, supportive housing and transportation. 
  • Alliance on Aging and Disability is a new coalition of disability organizations focused on keeping people with disabilities out of long-term care facilities. The Alliance has published a two-page fact sheet with clear recommendations for political parties and election candidates. They have a comparison of election promises from the major political parties here, and Community Living Ontario’s election priorities here. Community Living Ontario 2022 Election Page also provides updates. 
  • May 25th, 7-9pm, All Candidates meeting, Lakeshore United Church, Goderich hosted by Huron Chamber of Commerce, Goderich Ministerial Association and Huron Perth Association of Realtors.
  • May 26th, 7-9pm,  All Candidates meeting, Harmony Centre, Owen Sound, hosted by Climate Action Team Owen Sound (CATOS), and The Sustainability Project focused on Climate Change and the Future of our Region. The event will be streamed on Rogers Cable and will air live on RogersTV Channel 53. It will also air on May 28 at 9 p.m. and on May 30 at 5 p.m. The event will also be streamed live on The Sustainability Project’s Youtube Channel.

MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION SUPPORT

  • Overdose Alert: 3 overdoses in Bruce County were reported over the long weekend – all were non-fatal. Please encourage all people who use drugs to have naloxone on hand and to always use with a sober friend who can administer naloxone and call 911 in case of an overdose.  Naloxone is available at pharmacies and at the Grey Bruce Health Unit Mon-Fri, 8:30 am to 4 pm, no appointment needed.
  • SOS Mobile Outreach will be at Grace United Church, Hanover, May 25th, 12noon-4pm.

HOUSING SUPPORT

  • Bruce County Affordable Housing 101 Toolkit has been released online.
  • Read this this compelling opinion piece from the Maytree Foundation: “We can’t simply build our way out of our housing crisis.”
  • Meaford Chamber of Commerce completed a survey to Meaford businesses on workforce pressures that local businesses are facing. Housing is viewed as the top priority in terms of desired infrastructure. 83% of respondents would like to see Meaford have living accommodations that fill their workers’ needs.

HEALTH EQUITY SUPPORT 

  • International Menstrual Health Day,  May 28th, 10am, Owen Sound Farmers’ Market, awareness walk is being hosted by Its Personal.Period.  Menstrual health is a human right, and we need to raise awareness and open the conversation to normalize menstruation, advance menstrual equity, and end period poverty.

INCOME AND EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT

Stay well, Jill