United Way provides additional funding to support vulnerable seniors
While the COVID-19 pandemic has affected all residents of Simcoe Muskoka, many of our senior residents are particularly at-risk with potential impacts to their physical and mental health as well as their social wellbeing.
To help vulnerable seniors aged 55 and older, United Way Simcoe Muskoka is funding several local services and resources. These programs have been funded by the government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.
“While physical distancing is essential to protecting seniors from COVID-19, it risks isolating them from their community,” said Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors. “That is why the Government of Canada is proud to work with United Way Canada to help support the needs of seniors during this difficult time. By using local expertise, this funding will help provide support tailored to the unique, local needs of seniors across the country. As we work together to flatten the curve and slow the spread of the virus, the government is supporting Canadians every step of the way.”
United Way Simcoe Muskoka will distribute $137,000 among several organizations across Simcoe Muskoka to ensure that the needs of local seniors are met. These organizations include Barrie Community Foundation, Catholic Family Services of Simcoe County, CONTACT Community Services, Elder Abuse Muskoka, Independent Living Services, Muskoka Seniors, Ryde Community Co-op, and Gravenhurst Against Poverty (GAP). The services provided will address mental health and social isolation, barriers to accessibility and mobility, and assist with access to food, transportation and digital supports.
This federal funding will supplement United Way Simcoe Muskoka’s Urgent Needs Fund to meet basic and emergency needs of vulnerable seniors. Recipients include Community Connection 211 Central East, which manages the intake, assessment and data collection for UNF, as well as six regional agency leads: CONTACT Community Services, Independent Living Services, South Georgian Bay Community Health Centre, Catholic Family Services, CHIGAMIK Community Health Centre and the District of Muskoka.
“More than many, our vulnerable seniors are in need of assistance,” said CEO of United Way Simcoe Muskoka Dale Biddell. “By distributing this funding to some of the most important resources in our communities, the needs of our seniors will get a needed boost during the COVID-19 pandemic. United Way Simcoe Muskoka and our partners have the knowledge and expertise to make sure that this relief is accessible and will have the greatest impact possible.”
Simcoe Muskoka residents requiring assistance, are encouraged to call 2-1-1 to be connected to local resources and services.