Charlottetown outreach facility relocates to allow increased capacity for vulnerable community members

Frontline services | Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership

The Community Outreach Centre has moved its operations to a local school’s gymnasium for the purpose of enhancing its capacity to provide vulnerable residents with services such as counselling, shower access and laundry facilities under the new health regulations of social distancing.

Saskatchewan university student forms online initiaitive to deliver caremongering acts across Province

Food

Residents across Saskatoon and Regina have joined a Facebook group initiated to achieve community caremongering initiatives such as food security, challenges to local eviction regulation and partner with organizations that seek to help elderly, immunocompromised, and youth populations.

Downtown Eastside Community Resilience Taskforce

Frontline services | Policy leadership

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

Frontline services | Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership

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

Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership

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.

Interactive map helps locate food resources across Toronto

Food

The google map hopes to increase access to good food for all.

Newfoundland-based charity’s social enterprise is distributing meals & training during pandemic

Food | Frontline services | Fundraising and volunteering

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

Second Harvest’s FoodRescue.ca providing more than $4.5 million of new funding to community groups

Food | General: Online communities and networks

The new grants empowers local community organizations across Canada to ensure food makes its way to Canadians who need it most. The donation platform connects businesses with food surpluses to charities and non-profits in their own communities.

Hamilton’s biggest arena transforms into a homeless shelter

Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership

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

How the Toronto Public Library is transforming branches into food banks

Food | Frontline services | Policy leadership | Public health

Libraries as community hubs and librarians as public servants… Almost right away, the library decided to redirect resources to help with this critical need. There are 100 library buildings in neighbourhoods all across the city.

ShelterSafe.ca is an online resource to help women and their children seeking safety from violence and abuse

Frontline services

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

Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership

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

Food | Frontline services | Policy leadership | Public health

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

Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership

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.

Yukon to provide free cellphones to women in vulnerable situations amid COVID-19 pandemic

Frontline services | Policy leadership

Government providing 325 cellphones with 4-month service plans for free. The women eligible for the phones include those who are homeless, experiencing or fleeing violence, or in a precarious situation in regards to accessing resources

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

Housing and homelessness | Mobility and transportation | Policy leadership | Public health

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

Frontline services | Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership

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

General: Sector resources

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

Public health

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

Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership

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

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.

Program providing online social program for young adults with disabilities

General: Online communities and networks | Public health | Social isolation

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.

Cyber-Seniors is keeping senior citizens socially connected in self-isolation

General: Tools for engagement | Seniors | Social isolation

Cyber-Seniors’ mission is to bridge the digital divide and connect generations through technology through resources that enable community organizations to provide tech-training for senior citizens through a youth volunteer model. Youth are trained to act as digital mentors, and senior citizens gain access to effective technology training and intergenerational communities that keep them socially connected and engaged.

Crowdsourced map of Toronto resources for vulnerable populations to access & share during #COVID19 crisis

General: Crowdsourced tools and resources | Housing and homelessness | Public health

Includes showers, washrooms, food banks, and drop-in centres for bagged, hot foods.

Addressing domestic violence across Canada

General: Sector resources

The Ending Violence Canada association website provides links by province for those who are in danger. Crisis supports and programs are developed in partnership with organizations across the country.

Scarborough youth program is helping feed vulnerable families during the COVID-19 outbreak

Children | Food | General: Online communities and networks | Social isolation

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.

Medical students supporting community health and accessibility in Edmonton and Victoria

Children | Fundraising and volunteering | General: Online communities and networks

Bag Half Full was started by University of Alberta medical students and is expanding, most recently to UBC Victoria. Services include shopping and delivering groceries and household items for the elderly and people who are immunocompromised.

Homelessness and pandemic planning for youth and others in Canada

Children | General: Sector resources | Housing and homelessness

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

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.

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