Where to get help during period of isolation

 In Community

The Echo has put together a list of trusted sources of help for those who need support with mental health support, food services, financial assistance, access to employment insurance or other financial supports. We will be updating the list as we become aware of services. 


211 Ontario is stepping up support during the pandemic in an attempt to alleviate stress on the public health system and emergency services by helping people find access to non-emergency services.

The service is designed to refer people to supports in their community, whether they are in need of mental health support, food services, financial assistance, assistance accessing employment insurance or other financial supports, or are struggling to cope with the stress of self-isolation. Services can include virtual mental health support, financial supports, and access to food.

211 is a telephone helpline and online database of Ontario’s community and social services. The free and confidential service is available during COVID-19.

“Everything is changing by the day, and our teams have been working diligently to sort out what services and supports are available to Ontarians, so individuals don’t have to. A simple call to 211 will connect people with one of our community navigators who can point people in the direction that is right for them. We have also set up a dedicated microsite that will be updated regularly. You can find it at www.211oncovid19.ca.”

To access the service by phone, dial 2-1-1, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to communicate in 150 languages.

Visit www.211ontario.ca and click the ‘live chat’ button. Chat service is available 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Search our online listing. Visit www.211ontario.ca and search by location and topic. We regularly add new programs, services and financial supports to the listing as we learn about them.

Clearview Stayner Food Bank

Community needs are up but donations are down so anyone with the means to donate is encouraged to do so.

“We find ourselves in a bit of a pickle keeping the shelves stocked. Adding to our difficulties are the lack of supplies in stores combined with the inability to shop as often as we normally would,” said Food Bank officials in a Facebook post. “After brainstorming different solutions to maintain our inventory while minimizing the risk of spread or exposure, we ask that those who are able to support our cause buy a few extra items when out shopping to place in our various donation bins.”

“Much like the rest of the world, this is not something we ever thought we would experience and we are feeling so thankful for the strong sense of community in the Georgian Triangle,” says officials. “If you have creative ideas that you think would help to maintain our donations without increasing the risk to our collective health, we would love to hear them.”

For larger donations, and to get in touch, call 705-517-0166.

Find out what donations are needed on the Clearview Stayner Food Bank Facebook page.

Creemore Caremongering

A local Caremongering group has been set up on Facebook, in order to connect people in need with those willing and able to help out during this time of “social distancing” and “sheltering at home.”

People are encouraged to join and post #iso if they are in search of something, or #offer if they have something to offer. It could be a delivery of groceries or reading materials, or something more urgent.

To find the group, search Creemore Caremongering on Facebook.

Friendly phone call program

Missing neighbourly chit chat? How about a friendly phone call?

Local volunteers are collecting the names and numbers of people who are interested in making or receiving a phone call from a neighbour with the goal of reducing social isolation, sharing information, and understanding community experiences and needs during the COVID-19 physical distancing period.

For more information or to participate contact: Barb Mann, 705-466-6233; Vanessa Pierson, 647-998-5748; or Sara at The Creemore Echo, 705-466-9906.

United Way

United Way Simcoe Muskoka is rolling out a new Local Love in a Global Crisis campaign intended to meet the basic needs of individuals experiencing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region. While this is an unprecedented global issue, United Way Simcoe Muskoka is focused on helping those in our communities. These needs could be as simple as help buying groceries, restocking essential supplies or general financial assistance. As this fund is new, the process of applying for assistance is still being worked out.


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