Poverty Task Force/United Way Community Update #24

Dear Colleagues, 

The Ontario government has recognized the work of non-profit organizations and volunteers to deliver vital services under COVID19 and the economic challenges of keeping services in place. 

  • The Ontario government announced a new one-time Resilient Communities Fund to invest in the recovery and rebuilding efforts of the non-profit sector impacted by COVID-19.   
  • The Ontario government is investing $83 million through the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to provide grants to help eligible non-profit organizations, including food banks, child and youth programs and Royal Canadian Legion branches, recover from COVID-19 and continue the delivery of vital programming in their communities  

Organizations can apply for one or more of the following, to: 

  • Equip board members and employees with supports to implement new approaches, prepare for change and build resiliency (e.g. organizational training and coaching, strategic planning and implementation, research & development; mental and physical health and wellbeing supports) 
  • Improve and increase ability to access financial resources and develop new and/or alternative sources of revenues (e.g. develop fundraising plans, identify fundraising and financial technology resources, seek opportunities for public-private partnerships and social finance) 
  • Adapt or re-imagine the delivery of programs and services to meet the needs of the community, employees and volunteers (e.g. identify new health and safety processes and required personal protective equipment; technology supports; staffing and volunteer recruitment and training). 
  • Procure equipment or renovate spaces to meet the changing needs of the organization; its programs and services, and adapt to new ways of working (e.g. equipment and/or renovations to meet changing technology health and safety, and service delivery requirements). 
  • Create and/or adopt new approaches for organizations to work together to meet the needs of communities (e.g. peer learning, professional development, networking, resource, knowledge and data sharing)
  • Request amount: From $5,000 to $150,000 for up to 1 year. 
  • Application Deadlines*: September 2, 2020 at 5 pm ET. and December 2, 2020 at 5 pm.    

HOUSING SUPPORTS

  • Grey Bruce Community Legal Clinic: with the COVID19 eviction ban ending on August 4th, we anticipate that tenants will be seeking the services of various agencies in Grey Bruce. The Landlord-Tenant Board is open and taking new applicants but we encourage people to contact local agencies to support them with rental issues. 
  • The Grey Bruce Community Legal Clinic supports tenants to mediate disputes.  However, Funding for Legal Aid has already been negatively impacted by Covid 19 and there is concern that services will be negatively impacted without additional support from the government. 
  • YMCA Housing:  the YMCA also assists people who are having difficulties in their current housing through landlord mediation, and they provide landlord and tenant education, or coaching for those who simply need information to help them in their own housing search. Their website provides landlords resources and tenants resources.
  • Community Housing Supports List has been updated
  • Ontario Non-Profit Housing Corporation has provided a useful analysis of Bill 184.   

MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION SUPPORTS

  • On July 21st, Grey Bruce Public Health issued an overdose alert after receiving confirmation from county paramedic services of 6 opioid poisonings within 5 days across the Grey-Bruce region. There are now at least 9 cases reported recently for a total of 16 confirmed deaths in 2020. 
  • For more information about harm reduction practices and addiction services, visit the Community Drug and Alcohol Strategy website at www.drugstrategy.org.  
  • CMHA Grey Bruce Mental Health and Addiction Services is pleased to resume group services at Community Connections.  Verify the re-opening weekly schedules on their website.  

INCOME & EMPLOYMENT SUPPORTS

  • Community Income Supports List has been updated
  • Seniors Income Supports: If you are 65 or older and receive Old Age Security (OAS), you may be eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and the Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS). 
  • Find our more at https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/publicpensions/cpp/old-age-security/guaranteed-income-supplement.html  and at https://www.ontario.ca/page/guaranteed-annual-income-system-payments-seniors#section-3 
  • You must complete your taxes each year to reapply for GIS and GAINS. Call 211 for information about your closest free community volunteer income tax clinic. 
  • Library services in Bruce County and Grey County are re-opening branches to the public for regular in-person services. 
    • Bruce County: as of Monday, August 17th, all 17 branches of the Bruce County Public Library will be open to the public. For those who would prefer to not come inside the branches, their curbside pickup service will continue to be offered.
    • Public computers will be available for patron use by appointment, and patrons are asked to wear a face covering and must maintain proper social distancing while visiting the branches.
    • Programming will remain online. Digital materials and services are always available 24/7 at library.brucecounty.on.ca.
    • Grey County:  The Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library is set to reopen to the public on August 11th, with capacity and visit time limits in place.  
    • The library has been offering curbside pickup since June 16th.It will be open Tuesdays from noon to 8 p.m. and Wednesdays to Fridays from noon to 5 p.m. as the first stage of its reopening plan. Library capacity will be initially capped at 20 people at a time, not including staff, and each person can visit for up to 30 minutes per day,
    • A limited number of public computers will be available for use with a computer pass, which will be available at the information desk. Public printing and photocopying will be available with staff assistance.  

Stay well, Jill 

YMCA of Owen Sound Grey Bruce requires a Housing Support Worker

YMCA of Owen Sound Grey Bruce requires a:
Housing Support Worker (Part Time, July ‐ December 2013)
Responsibilities: Assist youth and adults to secure and/or maintain housing within their local area. Work
with other organizations to coordinate housing supports. Conduct client assessments to determine
housing support needs.
Qualifications:
• Post‐secondary degree/diploma in Social Services or related discipline
• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
• Excellent negotiation skills
• Self‐motivated, a strong team player
• Works independently with minimal supervision and is disciplined in setting priorities and outcomes
• Minimum Class G Driver’s License; able to travel throughout Bruce and Grey Counties; must have
own vehicle
Location – Hanover, with travel throughout Grey and Bruce counties
Hours: 21 hours per week
Wage Range: Commensurate with education and experience

Please submit resume and cover letter by Thursday, July 10, 2013 to:
Program Coordinator, Community Services
YMCA of Owen Sound Grey Bruce
1450 1st Ave. West, Owen Sound, Ontario N4K 6W2 or email to:
employmentservices@ymcaowensound.on.ca
Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

Groups March Together

By Scott Dunn, Sun Times, Owen Sound  Friday, March 1, 2013 8:53:48 EST PM

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Tina Drysdale is doing what she can to help fix a problem that’s not easily solved — one that is dependent on people who care.

She raised $90 towards a $6,000 fundraising goal in the two-day March Together event to help agencies that help the poor and homeless.

One of the beneficiaries is the new city soup kitchen. It alone has a $100,000 budget, all to be raised through donations.

There are six aid agencies sharing equally in the walk proceeds, so the need for money is great.

“It’s in our heart to do whatever we can. And really, you know walking around the arena . . . it really is a small price to pay,” Drysdale said. She walked around the rink inside the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre Friday afternoon with JoAnn McFarlane. Both are members of Crossroads Victory Church, whose pastor, David Mathieu, sits on the board of the Owen Sound Hunger and Relief Effort or OSHaRE, which runs the soup kitchen five nights a week.

Drysdale, McFarlane and Mathieu were among 16 people on four teams registered Friday who raised more than $2,000 for the cause.

Today more people will walk starting at 3 p.m. at the United Way office downtown and ending with a chili supper at 5 p.m. across the street at the former Knox United Church, now Harmony Centre Owen Sound.

McFarlane said she feels called to do what she can when she was asked why much of the burden of helping people in need should fall to ordinary people. “For me the joy is that we’ve come together as a community to provide for these people who very much need it,” she said.

The six groups involved in the fundraising walk all serve the same group of people but there has been tension among some of them. This event is the first of to work together to raise money, which will be shared equally among them. Walk chair Andy Fletch said it will become an annual event.

The benefitting groups include OSHaRE; Safe ‘n Sound, the after-hours emergency housing referral service and drop-in centre; the Salvation Army food bank; and Y Housing, which arranges emergency shelter stays and long-term accommodations. The Y will use the money to buy toiletries and other supplies for clients in urgent need. The Victorious Living Centre runs the only emergency shelter in Grey-Bruce, as well as a drop-in centre, and walk-a-thon funds will support those efforts too.

The United Way will use its share of money raised to pay heating cost arrears where furnaces burn wood, oil and propane. Other programs cover gas and electricity arrears.

United Way executive director Francesca Dobbyn, who registered walkers Friday, said changes in provincial funding as of Jan. 1 have cut certain programs for the poor and made them more difficult to access.

“The Ontario government eliminated the Community Startup Benefit, the rent bank and a couple other small emergency housing supports, lumped it under an emergency housing benefit . . . but (provided) only half the money.”

Dobbyn said one implication is that someone in county geared-to-income housing who is disconnected for utilities arrears would be evicted because they’re no longer eligible to access provincial utilities arrears funding.

In the past, a combination of funds from the United Way and the county, which receives provincial funding to keep people housed, would pay the arrears and those people could stay in their homes. Now if someone is in county geared-to-income housing they don’t qualify to access funds for utilities arrears in Grey and Bruce counties, Dobbyn said.

She said the province’s thinking is that those people in social housing are already getting a break by paying less rent and so they shouldn’t also dip into the other funds. She questioned the ethics of that. Regardless, she said, it will mean more people will lose housing and they will place more demands on charitable organizations, which makes the March Together event that much more important.