Below you’ll find a letter from Wayne Emmerson to Council, he is the Chairman and CEO for the Regional Municipality of York. You can click the links within the letter for more information.
Members of Council:
Following today’s Committee of the Whole meeting, I am providing a summary of the three issues discussed:
Social Service Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic Committee Report
The Social Service response to COVID-19 Global Pandemic Committee Report
outlines how York Region is responding, and plans to respond, to the social service needs of vulnerable residents.
Through short-term actions in the mandated areas of Housing, Children’s Services, Income Supports and Homelessness, York Region is working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among vulnerable populations, maintain the health and safety of our residents and reduce the burden on the health care system.
These actions include:
· Temporary rent subsides
· Increased funding housing stability and homelessness prevention programs
· Establishment of free emergency child care centres
· Extending funding to seasonal shelters
· Providing additional funding through grocery store gift cards to Ontario Works clients
In 2019, Regional Council approved $5.6 million in Regional funding for 45 projects identified to help low income residents under the Community Investment Fund
. Many of these projects have become even more critical due to COVID-19, while others may no longer be feasible as planned (school food programs, projects that cannot fulfill physical distancing requirements). Through this report, York Region is seeking authority to reallocate funding to the most critical activities.
To help identify and respond to social services needs beyond the Region’s mandates areas, the Region has partnered with United Way Greater Toronto to establish a Service Table that includes participation from 47 community agencies. Additionally, working tables for food security, homelessness supports and senior’s services have also been established. More information about the Community Service Tables can be found in the Working together to support our most vulnerable
article published to York.ca on Friday, April 10, 2020.
Please feel free to share this information with your Councils, local organizations and community agencies.
If agencies in your communities are looking for assistance and resources, please encourage them to join one or more of these tables by contacting Katherine Chislett, Commissioner of Community and Health Services at Katherine.Chislett@york.ca<
Provision of Personal Protective Equipment to Group Homes, Homes for Special Care, Lodging Homes, shelter workers and personal services workers
Sadly, positive cases of COVID-19 in York Region continue to rise. Unfortunately, some of our most vulnerable residents are being affected due to outbreaks in long-term care and retirement homes, group homes and community care settings.
To help address this, we have asked the Premier and Health Minister to extend the provision of Personal Protective Equipment beyond hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes. The provision must include Group Homes, Homes for Special Care, Lodging Homes, shelter workers and Personal Service Workers.
This change will help support the essential workers in all settings and ensure both supplies and equipment is expedited to those most in need. Dr. Kurji has already asked for staff in groups homes within the Region to wear face masks and have provide each home with an initial supply.
A copy of the letter is included.
Dr. Kurji has provided an update following discussions this afternoon between York Region and a representative from Central Region of Ontario Health, who was very receptive to the PPE needs of Group Homes, Homes for Special Care and Lodging Homes and has outlined a process to follow. Staff from Public Health and Community and Health Services will relay this information in webinars to the appropriate homes. These homes will register through an online form when their supply reaches a 14-day and then a 7-day maximum. Priority will be given to homes in outbreak mode and they will receive supplies within a 24 to 48-hour window.
Your support in sourcing PPE through donations and bulk purchases will be helpful on all fronts, as we discussed during committee this morning.