The City of Edmonton is using social innovation to improve Edmonton’s Urban Wellness
The City has been working with residents, businesses, agencies and government to develop a ‘Recover’ approach to improve urban wellness. Urban wellness includes economy vitality, social capacity, physical and mental health, built and natural environments. Bringing all kinds of people together, from businesses to residents to talk about their lived experiences, is not easy;If we can ensure the right systems are in place, we can promote and sustain conditions for people and neighbourhoods to thrive.
We use a social innovation framework which allows for constant learning, testing and adapting ideas, while considering their cumulative impact. This isn’t about replacing existing strategies, programs or services. It’s about testing small solutions to improve urban wellness and finding ways to align and collaborate across different orders of government, agencies, local businesses and the community.
$1.1M committed for public washrooms in Downtown Eastside Vancouver
Public spaces in downtown Vancouver becoming washrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic, as homeless residents ‘have no other options’
Crowdsourced list of Black Owned Businesses & Restaurants Open in the Toronto area during COVID
Downtown Eastside Community Resilience Taskforce
The City of Vancouver is organizing a multi-agency taskforce to generate engagement and harm reduction strategies as at-risk populations in the area face greater challenges during the crisis.
Recovery site for homeless COVID-19 patients offers dignity and a pathway to housing
The recovery site for COVID-positive homeless people is a unique collaboration between many health partners, government, addiction recovery supports, community & neighbourhood groups and Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontier Canada providing expertise on project co-ordination and logistics. Among the primary goals of the recovery site is treating homeless patients with dignity in a clinical setting and ensuring they have a home to go to afterward — not a return to homelessness.
British Columbia working with the Cities of Vancouver and Victoria to transition people living in encampments into temporary accommodations with wraparound supports
The Province of BC, in partnership with BC Housing and local municipalities, has worked to secure and operate 686 hotel and community centre accommodations in Vancouver and 324 hotel spaces in Victoria. This allows people from the encampments to safely physically distance, with access to important health, social and other supports.
Chefs in the University of Guelph’s kitchens will prepare 500 meals each day to help feed Guelph’s most vulnerable citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic
The University is supporting a program by The SEED, a not-for-profit organization at the Guelph Community Health Centre. The SEED is dedicated to ending food insecurity in Guelph and to creating a community without barriers to healthy food. The Program is in direct response to circumstances brought on by the pandemic,
Interactive map helps locate food resources across Toronto
The google map hopes to increase access to good food for all.
Newfoundland-based charity’s social enterprise is distributing meals & training during pandemic
Stella’s Circle offers housing, counselling and employment services to people who face many barriers to fully participating in their community. One of the initiatives of the organization is through its social enterprise, the Hungry Heart Cafe, which employs Stella’s Circle participants, providing them with food services training and experience. Customers of the Cafe have been invited to add $2 to their bill which goes towards a program referred to as Meals Squared. Individual, nutritious meals are then made available at no cost for participants. During the Stella’s Circle response to the pandemic, 1000 meals have been distributed to date. Stella’s Circle is also putting tech in the hands of homeless clients, in an effort to bridge the digital divide
Hamilton’s biggest arena transforms into a homeless shelter
The conversion of the FirstOntario Centre Saturday included adding 50 carefully separated beds in the concourse of the hockey arena, dining tables on the de-iced rink surface and a medical clinic in the media lounge. Even the giant scoreboard that looms over the 17,383-seat area will be repurposed to show movies for residents who want to stay through the day
ShelterSafe.ca is an online resource to help women and their children seeking safety from violence and abuse
Sheltersafe.ca allows you to quickly identify a shelter in a specific geographic area along with its 24 hour emergency phone number. The clickable map serves as a fast resource to connect women with the nearest shelter that can offer safety, hope and support.
Construction of supportive housing development that will provide critical supports to vulnerable people will continue (even on Sundays) during COVID-19
The City of New Westminster provided the land for the project, which is being funded by the province through its Rapid Response to Homelessness Program and will house women who have or are at risk of experiencing homelessness. Construction will take place 7 days a week because of a critical shortage of construction workers due to COVID-19
Toronto Public Library partners with local food banks to set up food bank distribution from library branches
Since the implementation of measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 transmission, there has been a dramatic decrease in access to food banks, with over a third closing in recent weeks. TPL’s efforts are in support of the City’s broader work on food security for Toronto’s vulnerable residents.
Calgary establishes isolation spaces for homeless affected by COVID-19 at hotel and Telus Convention Centre
Calgary health officials determined that 100 units would be needed for homeless people who need a place to self-quarantine but don’t require hospitalization.The assisted self-isolation site can also be used by homeless people who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive or are experiencing an unrelated illness that makes them too sick to stay in a shelter. In addition to the medical staff, mental health and addiction support is on hand. Units have been retrofitted to safely house the new residents, CHF says.
Edmonton transit seeing big numbers of vulnerable people & youth riding transit all day — now looking at options to help non-destination riders while ensuring essential workers can get to where they need
The city has created a new task force to help support “non-destination riders.” the city is working working with the Neighbourhood Empowerment Team – a partnership with the city, Edmonton police, Family Centre, the United Way and REACH – to work with these non-destination riders to make sure they can get the appropriate supports.
Twitter thread by Toronto Councillor updating residents on provision of shelter for those experiencing homelessness
Includes information on hotels, motels, buildings acquired, shelters, overnight programs and funding to community partners to provide services
COVID-19 resources for the disability community
A new website for the disability community includes ever-developing resources from disability organizations across Canada, a list of organizations providing support during COVID-19, and a “Rant, Rave and Recommend” section for stories from the front lines.
Canadian Drug Policy Coalition releases COVID-19 harm reduction resources
The Coalition is collecting insights and guidance on best practices for people who use drugs and healthcare providers.
Montreal to provide more resources for the homeless, will open 5 outdoor day centres
The City of Montreal is opening five outdoor day centres, expanding shelter room for men and women, and adding temporary public toilets.
Hamilton to convert rec centres into COVID-19 self-isolation shelters for homeless residents
The City is also working to ensure existing drop-in spots have the resources necessary to stay open. The new “backstop” self-isolation sites will only accept homeless residents who are referred by shelter officials, doctors or hospital authorities. That means the city will not publicly release the rec centre locations.
C5 North East Community Hub and the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers launch laptop drive to connect marginalized Edmontonians during pandemic
Donated laptops and tablets will help clients from five agencies, including the Mennonite Centre and the Terra Centre for teen parents and pregnant moms, to access programs, keep up on school work and stay in touch with family and friends.
Program providing online social program for young adults with disabilities
Facilitation is being provided by the Everyday Friends Social Network program, created by Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre (MNJCC) in Toronto. The program, which was provided in-person before a state of emergency was declared and non-essential businesses were closed, provides daily programs for young adults living with disabilities between the ages of 16 and 29.
Crowdsourced map of Toronto resources for vulnerable populations to access & share during #COVID19 crisis
Includes showers, washrooms, food banks, and drop-in centres for bagged, hot foods.
Scarborough youth program is helping feed vulnerable families during the COVID-19 outbreak
Time to Talk–Uncovering Youth Experiences, a Scarborough-based youth organization launched the Hearty Food Initiative, an effort to address food insecurity at the grassroots and community levels, and support the youngest members of the community and their families during the outbreak.
Homelessness and pandemic planning for youth and others in Canada
The Homeless Hub – an observatory on homelessness in Canada – provides a vast array of resources and current information for priority at-risk populations.
Public washrooms for the most vulnerable
The Region of Waterloo includes a list of open public washrooms for use by vulnerable community members
Public porta-potties installed as part of New Westminster’s COVID-19 response
The decision to provide portable washroom facilities is to ensure access to bathrooms for vulnerable populations, who may otherwise not have them, given all of the businesses being shuttered. It’s also for other residents.
Public washrooms for unsheltered persons considered an essential service in BC
This includes hygiene facilities (toilets, handwash stations, showers)
Portable washrooms open, campground closed to visitors as district deals with COVID-19
The District of Hope has added handicap accessible portable toilets in Memorial Park. They’ve also placed hand wash stations there as well, after closing public washrooms last week.
Public washrooms in Sechelt parks open from 7am to 9pm