The Ontario government is providing additional COVID-19 pandemic support funding to Northumberland County, the City of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County, the area’s MPPs announced.
Under Ontario’s Social Services Relief Fund, Northumberland County will receive $1,626,100, says Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP David Piccini. Another $2,392,400 will support the City of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County, says Haliburton-Kawartha-Lakes Brock MPP Laurie Scott.
The funding aims to help deliver critical services, create longer-term housing solutions and keep vulnerable people safe. The $765-million provincial fund was launched in March 2020 to help protect the health and safety of the province’s most vulnerable people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding can be used for homeless shelters, expand rent banks, affordable housing and support plans for future emergencies or outbreaks.
Monday’s announcement brings the total support for Northumberland County to $5,666,868, says Piccini.
“Partners like Northumberland County Community and Social Services are doing critical work to help the most vulnerable populations in our community,” said Piccini.
“This additional investment continues to ensure our municipal service manager is able to have the resources they need to keep their communities safe, respond to local needs, protect and serve our most vulnerable populations, and support long-term measures that will boost our collaborative and coordinated response to homelessness.
“The plan for these funds have been well thought out by Social Services staff and system partners, and really focus on sustainable local solutions.”
County warden Bob Crate says the funding is welcomed on the road to recovery from the pandemic.
“We sincerely appreciate the continued support from the province to ensure responsive, coordinated services for the most vulnerable members of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Crate.
“This investment of additional social services relief funding will sustain critical shelter, housing and outreach supports for Northumberland residents experiencing — or at risk of — homelessness, helping system partners to protect the health and safety of this at-risk population while navigating the impacts of the pandemic and transitioning to community recovery.”
Scott says funding has exceeded $8 million in her riding since the pandemic was declared.
“With this new investment, the City of Kawartha Lakes Consolidated Municipal Service Manager has received a total of $8,337,030 for the administration of Social Services programs in the City of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County through the Social Services Relief Fund,” said Scott.
“This funding will support local shelters, create longer-term housing solutions and help vulnerable community members affected by COVID-19.”
Rod Sutherland, director of human services for the City of Kawartha Lakes, says the municipality thanks Scott and the province for the phase of funding.
“The Social Services Relief Fund has provided direct support to many vulnerable groups in Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County, including those who are homeless, at-risk of becoming homeless and those in need of additional support to meet their basic needs,” he said.
“It is hoped that this funding will further assist in meeting short term COVID-19 recovery needs, as well as help build longer-term solutions.”