COVID-19 Information for Service Providers
- Actions and planned work to support vulnerable populations
- Helpseeker.org is available as a resource for community service providers and those seeking access to services.
- Food Security Working Group of the Health and Housing Task Force To create an action-oriented Food Security Plan. To participate, contact: Karin Kronstal, Social Planner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-755-4430.
- The City has started facilitating regular meetings with shelter providers, Island Health and BC Housing to coordinate a response for unsheltered residents who need access to self-isolation because they have been tested as COVID-positive or are presumptive. If you are a shelter provider for those who are unsheltered (and are not already involved) please contact Karin Kronstal, Social Planner at email@example.com or 250-755-4430.
The City is organizing a meeting with BC Rent Bank and local service providers, non-profits or financial institutions that have an interest in supporting or operating a local rent bank. If you are interested in participating please contact Dave Stewart, Social Planner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-755-4491.
- Three additional portable washrooms with hand sanitization facilities have been installed:
1. On Wesley Street, near the Overdose Prevention Site
2. Outside the Community Services Building at 285 Prideaux Street, near the 7-10 Club breakfast program
3. Across the road from the Salvation Army New Hope Centre, at the intersection of Cavan/Nicol/Esplanade
- The washroom hours at Diana Krall Plaza have been extended to 24 hours daily. There is also 24/7 water access outside this washroom.
- City washrooms typically open this time of year remain open (excluding those in currently closed recreation centres or other city facilities).
- The Unitarian Shelter, along with other shelters that continue to operate (Salvation Army, Samaritan House, etc.) provide washroom access during the evenings for their shelter clients.
- Drinking water access has been improved through measures to adapt water fountains to meet current safety standards. This includes:
1. Maffeo Sutton Park
2. Dallas Square, near the cenotaph
3. Wharf Street Loo, in the Diana Krall Plaza
- The City continues to provide a shower program at Caledonia Park, operated by the First Unitarian Church. The program operates five days a week from 7 a.m. - 10 a.m.
- Support for renters and landlords include a new temporary rental supplement, halting evictions and freezing rents.
- BC Housing has temporarily suspended evictions of tenants in subsidized and affordable housing.
Income & Expenses
- The BC Emergency Benefit for Workers provides a one-time $1,000 payment for people who lost income
- A one-time enhancement to the climate action tax credit will be paid in July 2020 for moderate to low-income families
- BC Hydro customers can defer payments, access grants and receive three months of free credit to help pay their hydro bills
- BC Transit fares and passes are not required
- Translink fares and passes are not required on buses
- Emergency supports for people on income assistance, disability assistance, and low-income seniors
- Service BC centres remain open for core services
- Seniors, adults, and youth can access virtual mental health supports
- Safe Seniors, Safe Communities - allows volunteers to be connected with seniors in their region who need help with grocery shopping, meal prep and prescription pick-up or receive friendly check-in call.
UPDATE - April 28, 2020:
Nanaimo is set to receive $200,000 in Indigenous funding and $200,000 in Designated funding. The Nanaimo Homeless Coalition will decide how and where this funding is spent to make the biggest impact possible in our region.
On March 18, as part of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the Federal Government announced an additional $157.7 million for the Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy.
- Improving access to essential food support - $100 million to organizations like the Salvation Army, Food Banks Canada, Community Food Centres Canada, and Breakfast Club of Canada
- Enhancing the Reaching Home initiative - $157.5 million to the Reaching Home initiative. Nanaimo receives Reaching Home funding through United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island. More information to come on when and how these funds will be received.
- Women's shelters and sexual assault centres - $50 million to women's shelters and sexual assault centres, including facilities in Indigenous communities, to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities.
- Youth support: mental health - $7.5 million in funding to Kids Help Phone to provide young people with the mental health support they need during this difficult time.
- Seniors - $9 million through United Way Canada for local organizations to support practical services to Canadian seniors. These services could include the delivery of groceries, medications, or other needed items, or personal outreach to assess individuals' needs and connect them to community supports.
Resources for Service Providers
- Interim Guidance to Social Service Providers for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 in their Facilities
- Updates from BC Housing
- Government of BC's Childcare Response
- Guidance for providers of services for people experiencing homelessness (in the context of COVID-19)
- BC CDC: COVID-19: Harm Reduction and Overdose Response
- Homeless Hub: Guidance for Providers of Services for People Experiencing Homelessness (in the Context of COVID-19)
- Homeless Hub: COVID-19 and Persons Experiencing Homelessness or Vulnerable Housing
- Safer Drug Use During the COVID-19 Outbreak
- Syringe Services and Harm Reduction Provider Operations During the COVID-19 Outbreak
- Information for Unsheltered People: Protect Yourself and Others
- Guidance for People Who Use Substances on COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)