United Way East Ontario is strengthening the capacity of local frontline services that are delivering vital programs during the COVID-19 pandemic by investing in 18 programs across Eastern Ontario.

These 18 programs will provide basic needs like food and personal protective equipment; wellness checks; summer cooling; social programming in a range of different languages; resources and technology to enhance connectedness and communication; mental health supports; and capacity building to encourage collaboration between agencies, reducing the chances that people fall through the cracks.

The strategy for deciding how to provide this support was a direct result of the input from the more than 70 partners that participate in the United Way-led COVID-19 Community Response Table. After ongoing conversations with social service agencies, public health authorities, municipalities, and elected officials, United Way has a strong picture of the different challenges vulnerable populations are facing across Eastern Ontario. By collaborating with other local funders, United Way ensures the impact is targeted, and there is no duplication of efforts during this time of heightened need.

United Way has invested approximately $1.76 million in these 18 programs, in collaboration with the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund. These programs aim to help more than 67,000 people over the course of nine months.

A further $890,000 of the Emergency Community Support Fund will be invested by the end of July, totalling $2.65 million in new investments to support our communities during this ongoing time of crisis. This adds to the 17 programs United Way-supported in the first few months of the pandemic.

Four organizations serving residents of Prescott and Russell counties are receiving funding from this initiative.  The Champlain Community Support Network is receiving $106,500, and $20,000 is being contributed to Prescott-Russell Victim Services.

Services Communautaires de Prescott et Russell is receiving $5,955, and $2,045 is going to Groupe Action pour l’enfant, la famille et communauté de Prescott-Russell.

“The social challenges people face on a regular basis have not gone away because of COVID-19,” said Michael Allen, President and CEO of United Way East Ontario. “Our collaboration with the COVID-19 Community Response Table has positioned us well to respond to these needs with our investments, but also with advocacy, partnership and creative problem-solving so no one feels invisible during this extended period of uncertainty,” he added.

In early March, in partnership with Ottawa Public Health, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, other health units, and community organizations, United Way launched an initiative to help support the most vulnerable in response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) affecting our region. This collaboration has enabled local problem solving, prioritization of needs, and collaboration. To learn more about United Way’s work, or if you require community service assistance, please visit unitedwayeo.ca/covid19.