LavaMaeˣ Connect is a free global community of 650+ homeless service providers bringing mobile showers and other care services to the street.

General: Sector resources | Housing and homelessness | Public health

LavaMaeˣ is a nonprofit that teaches people around the world to bring mobile showers and other services that promote well-being to people experiencing homelessness. Members have access curated events, do-it-yourself toolkits, community discussions, and troubleshooting support from LavaMaeˣ and other service providers worldwide.

LavaMae also delivers services on the streets of San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles, with a Radical Hospitality® approach—meeting people wherever they are with extraordinary care—helps restore dignity, rekindle optimism and fuel a sense of opportunity.

Halifax Public Libraries and Museums offer free reusable cloth masks to those without access

Policy leadership | Public health

Each person can request up to two masks per immediate family member. They’re adjustable and come in both adult and youth sizes.

Edmonton-based tech company creates digital registration system for office reopening

General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Re-opening

VisitorBay is a digital visitor management tool that allows for an automated sign-in process that is more secure than traditional paper methods. Before COVID-19, the company launched a digital registration system for clients that would see the end of paper sign-in sheets left out in the open for all to see. A few weeks into COVID-19, company founders Brett Carrier and Ricardo Casanova knew there was an opportunity to adapt their product to help companies.

Beer Company donates 135,000 facemasks to restaurants across Canada, plus re-opening kits that include hand sanitizer, sanitizer towers, social-distancing signage and support in going contactless with menus through QR-Code coasters, tent cards and point-of-sale integration.

Local businesses | Re-opening

Labatt is also supporting the safe re-opening of restaurants and businesses as a corporate partner to roll out the POST Promise — a private sector-led program that allows business owners to sign a declaration to uphold five key steps to help prevent the spread — and through brand initiatives, including Stella Artois’ Rally for Restaurants gift-card program.

BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association Blueprint for Re-opening in-restaurant dining

Food | General: Sector resources | Local businesses

This document is a framework to provide best practices and protocols that the industry has worked together on. This information was put together with a consortium of experts in many different restaurants and
foodservice establishments in BC.

Montreal closing streets to cars, but increasing policing to enforce physical distancing

Mobility and transportation | Parks and public space | Policy leadership | Public health

Montrealers need access to green space, but are encouraged to go to parks in their own neighbourhoods, not travelling across the city to visit other parks. Parking lots in Mount Royal Park were closed this week to limit traffic, and Île Notre-Dame has also been closed altogether. These types of measures will continue, and even more will be put in place in other, popular destinations like the Lachine Canal, which has been extremely crowded.

Canadian Drug Policy Coalition releases COVID-19 harm reduction resources

Public health

The Coalition is collecting insights and guidance on best practices for people who use drugs and healthcare providers.

Hamilton to convert rec centres into COVID-19 self-isolation shelters for homeless residents

Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership

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.

Calgary Design Group O2 Planning + Design Pitches Temporary Sidewalk Widening and Converted Four-Way Stops to Help Coronavirus Physical Distancing

Mobility and transportation | Public health

The group put out a series of designs showing how certain Calgary corridors could be temporarily redesigned to accommodate more foot traffic at a time when physical distancing is critical to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Public washrooms for the most vulnerable

Policy leadership

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

Policy leadership

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

Policy leadership

This includes hygiene facilities (toilets, handwash stations, showers)

Minneapolis Offers People Experiencing Homelessness a Simple Gift: A Safe Place for Their Stuff

Housing and homelessness | Local businesses | Policy leadership

To support Minneapolis’ unhoused residents, the city has followed in the footsteps of other cities like San Diego and Los Angeles by partnering with a local organization to pilot a storage program for those experiencing homelessness. The pilot comes as a record number of people are experiencing homelessness across the state. The program allows people experiencing homelessness to store their belongings in bins located in a secure room. Belongings are checked in and out of bins by volunteers from Minneapolis’ Downtown Improvement District, the city’s partner in the venture.

Nonprofit FLATTEN platform provides real time information regarding COVID-19 spread in Canada

General: Crowdsourced tools and resources | General: Online communities and networks | General: Sector resources | Public health

Developed by a group of scientists, engineers and clinicians, this online screening tool is designed to help increase awareness and flatten the curve of the spread of COVID-19 by informing Canadians and healthcare systems of relevant information.

City of Toronto acquires hotels, rental buildings for homeless in response to coronavirus

Frontline services | Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership | Public health

Toronto Councillor Joe Cressy said five hotels have been acquired with another five in the process of being secured. Two vacant rental buildings are also in the process of being acquired and 50 permanent housing units have been identified. He added that 19 households have secured permanent housing. The latest acquisitions are in addition to the nine existing sites the city has already opened to facilitate social distancing within the shelter system. Cressy added that the city has provided funding to five community partners that run overnight programs to stay open all day to provide daytime spaces for those experiencing homelessness. Two sites are now open and three others will open shortly.

B.C. farmers markets launching online store during COVID-19 pandemic

Food | General: Online communities and networks | Policy leadership

The B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets is helping its 145 members set up digital shop. As part of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Buy BC program, the province is providing funds to cover fees for individual farmers markets to join. Each participating farmers market will create its own virtual store to best serve its communities.

Emergency food service delivers hot meals, food boxes across Mohawk community

Food | Frontline services | Indigenous | Policy leadership | Public health | Seniors | Social isolation

Kahnawake is located south of Montreal and has positive cases of the virus. They launched an emergency food service that is providing hot meals twice a day for elders and those with limited mobility or dietary restrictions. An expansion of an existing food bank service also started delivering a food box to those struggling financially but who are able to cook for themselves.

Love for Local – New Brunswick is a Facebook site to support local businesses in NB during the COVID-19 pandemic

Local businesses

Looking to build a community of people who are looking to support local businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic (@loveforlocal)

Smart buildings harnessed for pandemic response: AI supports infection detection, remote operations and ongoing resilience

Public health

Smart buildings will play an increasingly important role to help detect and control their spread, facilitate the remote operation of buildings in lock down situations and interact with the grid to increase energy resiliency. Advanced applications, smart buildings and smart grids that offer trans active modes of generation and usage have the potential to increase safety and resiliency and increase the sustainable production and consumption of electricity.

Pandemic best practices exchange from Europe

General: Crowdsourced tools and resources | General: Online communities and networks | General: Sector resources | Policy leadership | Public health

EUROCITIES has activated a Twitter feed to consolidate and exchange information among its membership network, comprised of elected representatives of major European cities.

Calgary to reduce lanes on some roads to help walkers, cyclists keep their distance during COVID-19 pandemic

Mobility and transportation | Parks and public space | Policy leadership | Public health

Calgary’s roads department, in coordination with CEMA, have identified roads where lanes will be reduced with the hope this can give walkers, bikers and other modes more space to be outside, while maintaining social distance. Sections of Elbow Drive and Crowchild Trail will be part of this measure, among other popular walking spots in Calgary

COVID-19: Safe-drug supplies part of package as Vancouver addresses Downtown Eastside

Frontline services | Policy leadership | Public health

The City’s Community Action Team to help the roughly 20–30% of drug users not connected to the health care system make sure they can access a safe supply. For everyone else, the City is planning for safe supply to be enabled through existing physician relationships, with more details to be announced by the Province.

Wemunity Project is an open source system where those who have recovered from COVID-19 can be approved to provide assistance in keeping up critical societal functions.

Public health

They are looking for technical skills, domain knowledge and funding. 200+ techies, designers, legal experts and MDs have been mobilized to date – originated in Norway but going global – fast.

Links to some of the amazing online communities and resources to offer support and inspire connection during COVID19.

General: Online communities and networks | General: Sector resources | General: Tools for engagement | Learning and education

This fulsome list is a living document collected by Vancouver’s SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University

Digital inclusion in times of crisis — UK mobile operators give free access to National Health Service websites during COVID19

General: Tools for engagement | Policy leadership | Public health

Digital exclusion goes hand in hand with social, economic and political exclusion. It is also complex: people need the appropriate device, connection, skills, confidence, and motivation as well as the ability to maintain those through changing circumstances.

Toronto, Vancouver look into closing roads to traffic to create space for social distancing

Mobility and transportation | Parks and public space | Public health

Two of Canada’s most densely populated cities are looking at barring auto traffic from parts of their streets so pedestrians can spread out and maintain the proper distance from each other. Toronto and Vancouver are following the lead of other jurisdictions as officials grapple with how to allow for safe movement during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how to facilitate outdoor respite for people confined to small urban dwellings.

Coordinated effort launched to prevent spread of COVID-19 in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Frontline services | Housing and homelessness | Public health

The DTES Response aims to activate community networks to create a stop-gap plan for the urgent needs of the most vulnerable. Right now, the group is mobilizing resources and coordinating operations.

International competition for ventilators backed by Montreal-based foundations and health centre

Public health

The Code Life Ventilator Challenge, a newly announced joint venture by the Montreal General Hospital Foundation, in collaboration with the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), is “calling for teams to design a simple, low-cost, easy-to-manufacture and easy-to-maintain ventilator which could be deployed anywhere needed to save lives.” The deadline is March 31, 2020 and the challenge is backed by a prize of CAD$200,000. The top three designs will be made free to download immediately.

Barrie automated manufacturing company retooling to manufacture personal protective equipment and other needed equipment

Local businesses | Public health

Innovative Automation has put its projects on pause to work on prototypes for medical face shields and ventilators.

Surrey Hospital Foundation creates COVID-19 response fund

Frontline services | Fundraising and volunteering | Public health

The Surrey Hospital Foundation has created a donor-funded $50,000 Response Fund to help purchase equipment for COVID-19 care, as well as health and wellness initiatives for frontline workers.

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