COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact on vulnerable people across our region and the entire country.
Since the pandemic began, community-based charities and non-profit organizations have been working tirelessly to provide emergency support of all kinds—in particular, to individuals and communities experiencing continued or heightened vulnerability. Demand for services has increased dramatically.
On Saturday, May 16, the Government of Canada announced that the $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) is now available for community partners to apply. The ECSF aims to help charities and non-profit organizations adapt and increase frontline services for vulnerable people during COVID-19. The ECSF is a collaboration between the Government of Canada, the Canadian Red Cross, Community Foundations of Canada and United Way Centraide Canada.
“Canadian charities and not for profits are always there to help you, in your time of need. But the COVID-19 pandemic is bringing real challenges to these important organizations. With today’s announcement, the Government of Canada will be there for them so they can continue to be there for Canadians,” says The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.
Today, organizations providing front-line services to vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19 are eligible to apply for support from the Fund, including registered charities, and other qualified donees.
United Way East Ontario is proud to support the important investment of $2.8 million* in our region to support our local communities. We will be accepting funding applications for our region’s allocation of the Emergency Community Support Fund until May 29, 2020 at 1:00 PM.
We are pleased with what this will mean to so many of our partners who have had to shift and expand their services to adapt to our current circumstances—changes that will remain in place for many months to come as we transition to what a ‘new normal’ will look like.
This support will bolster the work we have already been doing to ensure no one falls through the cracks.
For many weeks now, United Way East Ontario has been bringing together a table of frontline social service agencies, public health authorities, municipalities, corporate partners, and many others working diligently to support the most vulnerable through this unparalleled event. With so many engaged partners who are focused on a common goal, United Way has a clear picture of the challenges that exist and we are able to respond quickly with informed decisions that allow us to put resources where they are needed most.
Our communities need help now, and these needs will continue far into the future.
What we have learned from events like the tornadoes and floods is that responding to these circumstances takes more than just money to solve problems—it also takes collaboration, innovation, and a close understanding of the needs. We will certainly continue to do more to respond to the growing needs by securing additional corporate partnerships, enabling volunteers, and calling on members of our communities who can continue to donate to support this work over the long-term.
We will use the resources provided by the Government of Canada to build on our existing work, to pivot to address new needs as they emerge, and to reach even more people who need help. As we continue to make informed decisions, we will always stand true to our promise: we will invest resources where they are needed most and where they will have the greatest impact.
We are committed to standing with the most vulnerable.
This crisis is far from over, and we know that when it is, lingering effects will remain. We will continue our work of evaluating the needs in our communities, and collaborating with local organizations to address those challenges quickly and creatively.
The work ahead will be challenging but United Way and our partners are up to the task.