The Ontario government is providing more than $1.1 million in services relief funding to the City of Peterborough to help protect the most vulnerable people in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith announced Thursday that the city can best determine how the $1,101,100 in funding will be distributed to provide people in the community with support.
Smith noted other municipalities and service providers, such as homeless shelters, food banks, emergency services, charities and non-profits, have used relief funding to help support the delivery of critical services, hire additional staff, acquire personal protective equipment and find ways to improve physical distancing and self-isolation.
The money is part of Ontario’s $200 million in services relief funding to help protect the province’s most vulnerable people.
“Supporting our most vulnerable, such as the homeless, those on social assistance, and investing in local charities on the front lines is crucial in combatting COVID-19,” said Smith. “Only together, working with local governments, community organizations and charities, will we accomplish this.”
Steve Clark, minister of municipal affairs and housing, says the funding goes directly to communities who know best what the immediate needs are on the ground.
“We are acting quickly to support those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless during this unprecedented time,” said Clark.
Peterborough Mayor Diane Therrien says the additional support from the province will help “fill gaps in the system” to ensure community partners have the support they need to serve these groups.
”We’re working together as a community to ensure people who are the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic, including people facing financial hardship and people who are homeless, have access to supports for food, shelter and physical distancing,” Therrien said.
Smith says the province is providing $148 million to service managers and Indigenous program administrators across Ontario to give them flexibility to expand the key services they already offer to meet their local needs.
The city is using the Peterborough Sport and Wellness Centre as a temporary emergency shelter and has reported an average of 50 people are at the shelter each night.