The Ford government is kicking in millions of dollars to municipalities and organizations that administer social services with funding to support them in their response to COVID-19.
The province said the $200 million in social services relief to is protect the health and safety of Ontario’s most vulnerable people.
The cash is to help municipalities and and social service providers such as shelters, food banks, emergency services, charities and non-profits continue to deliver critical services, hire additional staff, and find ways to promote social distancing and self-isolation to keep clients safe and healthy.
Local needs will be determined by Ontario’s municipal service managers who will distribute the funding.
“Our government will spare no expense to protect the health and safety of all Ontarians,” said Premier Doug Ford. “We are doing our part to show the Ontario spirit and we will make sure no one gets left behind. Organizations across the province are doing critical work right now to help vulnerable Ontarians and these funds will allow them to directly help those who need it the most.”
For individuals that don’t qualify for emergency financial supports under federal programs, the Ford government is using the extra funding to expand the Emergency Assistance program administered through Ontario Works (OW) to cover these individuals’ needs such as food, rent, informal childcare, and services.
For those individuals who already receive social assistance, there will be discretionary benefits available. This new funding is to help individuals and families in financial crisis who are not able to access federal assistance to cover needs such as rent, food, medicine, transportation and other services during this public health crisis.
There will also be money made available to organizations delivering social services to vulnerable First Nations individuals and families.