As part of the Government of Ontario’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, the province is investing up to $40 million to support organizations that provide residential services for children and youth, people with developmental disabilities and emergency shelters for women and families fleeing domestic violence.
The COVID-19 Residential Relief Fund will cover costs such as additional staffing, residential respite for caregivers; personal protective equipment and supplies; initiatives to support physical distancing and transportation to minimize client exposure.
“Our government is doing everything it can to help Ontario’s most vulnerable get through this difficult and challenging time,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services “I want to personally thank all the staff and managers who are working on the frontlines of the developmental services sector for keeping our most vulnerable citizens safe during this unprecedented time. You exemplify the true Ontario spirit each and every day.”
Ontario is also taking action to help ensure that staffing and resources are available to help care for and protect people with developmental disabilities and the frontline workers who support them. These temporary measures provide further flexibility for developmental service agencies to redirect their staffing and financial resources to essential tasks that keep individuals with developmental disabilities safe and out of hospital.
The Relief Fund will also help address increased residential costs that emergency shelters for women fleeing domestic violence and survivors of human trafficking are facing at this time.
“This is a trying time for everyone, as we continue to stay at home to stop the spread of COVID-19, but we know that home isn’t safe for everyone. That’s why it’s critical during this time that residential organizations for people fleeing violence have the security they need to continue supporting vulnerable women,” said Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues.