Updates and Impacts of COVID-19 at UWCNVI

Updates and Impacts

Every day we are seeing and hearing about the extensive increased needs for increased food, shelter, mental health and other supports in our Vancouver Island communities because of COVID-19. We continue to work with and learn from our local partners to determine needs and secure funding in response to this crisis. Below is an update on our efforts to support our communities through this difficult time.

Available programs and services - Documenting/sharing what services are still open

Service providers and the community need can see what services are still operating, sorted by community, here. This list is updated regularly.

Advocating for federal and provincial COVID-19 relief funding and long term Designated Reaching Home funding

Working with United Way Canada and all United Ways in BC, we are gathering information on the local needs and advocating for funding to quickly help our most vulnerable neighbours.  Thank you to our local MLAs and MPs for supporting these timely responses to help our communities.

Here are the latest updates on funding and new services as a result of those efforts:

Provincial Safe Seniors, Strong Communities Program

This new province-wide initiative can be accessed by dialing 2-1-1 or filling in an online form at  Seniors 65 and older can request volunteer help with grocery shopping, meal preparation, and prescription pick-up, or they can receive a friendly check-in call. Thank you to UWCNVI donors who give annually as your donations fund bc211 every year, including in this time of greatest need.

Federal COVID-19 Seniors Response Funding

United Way Canada with Employment & Social Development Canada (ESDC)’s New Horizons seniors program has established a COVID-19 Seniors Response Fund. UWCNVI has received $120,000 to invest in grants for services to address the most pressing needs of seniors 55 and over in our communities. The call for applications is on our website and social media as of April 30th. Funds are to be invested in services by May 22, 2020.

More information and application form, here.

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Federal Reaching Home COVID-19 Response Fund and Designated Reaching Home

UWCNVI has received $408,123 from Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy program for Nanaimo in Indigenous and Designated funding and $209,223 to invest in Duncan through the Indigenous Reaching Home funding stream for programs to address the needs of Canadians experiencing homelessness. These funds will be invested in community services by United Way through the Nanaimo Homeless Coalition and the Tze Tza Watul Community Advisory Board (CAB) in Duncan over the coming months.

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Cowichan Federal Designated Reaching Home Funds

After a robust application process, United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island (UWCNVI) has been awarded the Community Entity role for the Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy designated funds in Cowichan for the next four years. UWCNVI will invest in further solutions to end homelessness through funding local community agencies as approved by the Cowichan Tze Tza Watul Community Advisory Board (CAB).


Federal Emergency Community Support Fund

The Government of Canada announced a $350M Emergency Community Support Fund to be administered through the Canadian Red CrossCommunity Foundations of Canada and United Way Centraide Canada to support our country’s most vulnerable populations. The new fund will provide a much-needed boost to organizations on the frontlines. We will continue our efforts to secure the funding and support required for the stabilization and the recovery phases ahead.


Investing Local Donor Dollars in Annual Community Partner Grants

2019-2020 Grants

United Way will soon release the last payment of the 2019/2020 grant cycle to the more than 80 programs in our region that UWCNVI donors have funded.  Please note that a UWCNVI staff member will be connecting with Community Partners shortly as to whether your services are a) continuing during the coming months and thus you need the last payment or b) whether you would like to postpone your payment until later when your services resume (extend your funding period over 15 months instead the usual 12 months) or c) you could use the last payment of the 2019/2020 cycle for COVID-19 needs that are different than the original grant.


2020-2021 Grants

We encourage our currently funded Community Partners whose grants end July 31, 2020, to consider applying for Emergency Community Support Fund grants, linked here, for funding until March 31st, 2021. United Way will be looking at opening the regular granting cycle in the fall after we assess needs in our communities.


Local Love in a Global Crisis Funds

United Way donors are giving to our Local Love in a Global Crisis Fund that we launched in March. United Way is identifying where these funds are best invested over the coming weeks and months and ensuring appropriate distribution and minimal overlap as new resources come available from provincial and federal governments.  We work with local, provincial and federal services and funding organizations to ensure resources are invested strategically and serve the greatest local needs.   

For more information and to donate, click here.

Thank You

Thank you to the individuals, government partners, organizations, corporations and partners who have already shown their incredible support for those most impacted by COVID-19.