I hope you are finding ways to social distance, while enjoying these longer days and better weather.
In this week’s update, you can learn more about federal funding being stewarded locally through our United Way and the Community Foundation for Kingston and Area. I’ve also included an update on plans for recovery in the social services sector.
PLANNING FOR RESPONSE, RECOVERY
Charities have been immersed in responding to the immediate needs of their clients while adjusting to the requirements for social distancing. Calls for help are high, the demand on food and meal programs has increased and the need for mental health support and counselling is high. The City and partners, including United Way, are finding ways to increase and support physical capacity and support for people in shelters, while searching for new ways to support people who are chronically homeless.
Most charities have risen to the challenge in innovative, collaborative, and caring ways. Funding has always been unstable and the current pandemic has impacted fundraising efforts and events.
The United Way has recruited a Social Services Recovery Task Force, working with partners and agencies to look at the following:
Collaboration and Coordination: explore opportunities for community agencies to work together to achieve efficiencies and enhancements in program delivery, exploring system-wide collaboration and coordination
Needs: identify the critical needs in the social services sector – short, intermediate and long term – and address potential gaps with potentially limited resources.
Stabilization: understand the impact the pandemic will have on the social services sector in the region, and identify sources of funding to invest in priority areas to replace funding shortfalls.
We work closely with the Mayor’s Economic Recovery team. Mayor Bryan Paterson has agreed to be a part of this task force, and I have joined his Economic Recovery team.
In line with the above, we continue to update the United Way KFL&A Supports page for COVID-19 and have now included more resources for grocery delivery and meal programs, a list of supports for domestic and sexual abuse, counselling resources and more. Please visit the webpage if you or anyone you know is in need of support and share for those who may need these resources. https://www.unitedwaykfla.ca/covid-19-supports/
EMERGENCY COMMUNITY SUPPORT FUND
As mentioned previously, the Government of Canada announced $350 Million Emergency Community Support Fund on April 21, 2020. This fund will help Canadian charities and non-profits who are providing crucial resources and community-based services for vulnerable Canadians.
United Way, the Canadian Red Cross (CRC) and Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) will deploy these critical funds into communities across the country through charities providing immediate responses to the pandemic.
Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington will receive over $517,000, and a call for applications has now gone out and will be open until June 9, 2020. Funds will be disbursed through June and July. The Community Foundation of Kingston and Area received $413,000. We are working closely with them to see how we can best collaborate and ensure these funds have the maximum impact.
You can find out more about this fund and the application process here: https://www.unitedwaykfla.ca/united-way-kfla-and-community-foundation-for-kingston-area-accepting-applications-for-emergency-community-support-fund/
DAY OF CARING
With physical distancing in place, this year’s typical Day of Caring projects are not possible. However, the Day of Caring volunteer committee wanted to continue the spirit of Day of Caring and have found a new way to engage the community and workplace volunteers.
We are encouraging members to think about an act of caring that they could do on Friday, June 12 to celebrate the spirit of Day of Caring. United Way will be posting ideas on social media and our website to help community members participate. Whether it’s shopping for a neighbour who has trouble getting out, or reaching out to a friend who may be feeling isolated, everyone can find ways to show your local love in these challenging times. More details to come.
MEDIA SUPPORT AND UPDATES
For more than a year now United Way KFL&A has been working with YourTv in Kingston on their program Limestone Lens. Through our partnership, they feature a segment each week on the United Way featuring agencies and events that highlight the impact of your United Way in the community. Throughout the pandemic they have continued to do segments via Zoom and have featured Resolve Counselling, The Sexual Assault Centre, Seniors programming and the Kingston Youth Shelter. Please visit their Youtube channel to watch these videos and learn more.
You can also stay up to date by following our social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and of course, you can always look for regular updates on our website at www.unitedwaykfla.ca
Thank you! Your support is changing lives impacted by this pandemic. Take care. Stay safe and well!
President & CEO | United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington