Our agency and community partners that provide vital supports such as food, mental health supports and support to isolated seniors, are telling us that given the COVID-19 response requirements, they will need community support to continue helping the most vulnerable – who are disproportionately affected by this crisis.
These agencies are responding as necessary and adjusting their options for services in real time, but their capacity will be stretched in the coming days, weeks and months.
Poverty & Homelessness Low-income families cannot afford to stock up on food and supplies, and are more likely to be severely impacted by closed schools and reduced shift work. Shelters are needing to find more space to support those who are homeless and observe social distancing recommendations. Food to go, hygiene and cleaning supplies are needed, among other things.
Families Under Stress Many families are unable to purchase the necessary food, personal hygiene and cleaning products to protect their health and well-being. So too, many are experiencing temporary lay-offs and economic strain.
Mental Health Psycho-social supports are always critical in a crisis. Access to immediate counselling supports goes hand in hand with a drastic shift in our regular routines, especially something as unprecedented as extended self-isolation. Isolation can trigger anxieties, as well as force people into uncomfortable or unsafe environments. The needs continue to change and we are working closely with public health authorities, community agencies, community groups and others to assist with social services as this health crisis escalates.
Seniors Are the most vulnerable in terms of exposure and whose main source of interaction is group programs and public spaces (libraries, malls).