Help the most vulnerable as our communities press on through COVID-19.
Standing with, and for community
In times of crisis, United Way works closely with frontline agencies, all levels of government, and other partners to uncover the greatest needs, and organize to achieve the greatest impact.
When the pandemic began, we quickly mobilized to see how we could support those most in need. Since then, grassroots groups have formed, and new services have emerged, as a result of incredible teamwork and creativity through the COVID-19 Community Response Table.
As COVID-19 lingers in our region, we continue to do this work.
But, the recent occupation of downtown Ottawa prevented frontline agencies from providing essential services to our communities’ most vulnerable people for several weeks.
Mental health supports, food delivery for seniors, home care for people with disabilities, shelters for women fleeing violence, and more, have kept their doors open through the pandemic. Now, they’re also reeling from intense trauma, anxiety, and the threat of violence.
Even though the trucks have rolled out of the city centre, there’s still work to do. We know the occupation will have lasting effects on our community’s wellbeing. United Way is making sure that over the long term, there are adequate mental health and wellness resources available to address this traumatic experience.
As “COVID fatigue” and mounting exhaustion sets in for all of us, the pandemic is hitting our communities harder than it ever has. COVID-19 continues to challenge the efforts we’ve made to ensure no one struggling falls through the cracks, and we know there are many months to go before we’re in the clear. Now more than ever, we need to keep our communities strong.
Your community still needs you.
Since the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 began to take hold, people who were already experiencing inequities—like poverty, homelessness and social isolation—have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. They need even more help during this time, and their needs will require our attention in 2022 and likely much farther into the future.
As we head into another year of living with COVID-19 in our region, we’ve renewed our commitment to provide ongoing support for the people hit hardest by this pandemic.
Providing access to life’s essentials that help the most vulnerable stay healthy.
Help for seniors
Supporting isolated seniors who are vulnerable and at risk of developing severe illness if they contract the virus.
Capacity for the
Ensuring frontline services can continue their vital work.
Mental health and
Enabling vital crisis lines and system navigation services that benefit everyone.
Addressing learning loss for vulnerable children and youth
Ensuring kids get back on track with their education.
Building a more prosperous future for people who have been sidelined by the pandemic.
As the situation evolves, United Way will continue working with our community partners to adapt.
We’re making a difference in people’s lives every day
Anyone in need of community support in the wake of May’s storm is encouraged to call 2-1-1.
Residents living in and around downtown Ottawa will continue to feel the impacts of the occupation long after immediate crisis needs have been met—particularly those most vulnerable.
The Road Ahead
COVID-19 brought the fault lines of our communities into focus and provoked an urgency to take them on. But it will take courage and commitment to continue tackling these systemic challenges. We will inevitably move into a recovery phase, and we must take the lessons of the pandemic with us to build a more equitable future.
The pandemic has been tragic and punishing for so many. But the resilience we’ve built over the past year can propel us to be better than we were before. We have our sleeves rolled up, and we’re ready to continue this work.
President and CEO, United Way East Ontario