Vulnerable People are Struggling during the Global Pandemic, How can you help during Coronavirus?
The Coronavirus has affected all of us in different ways. This is truly an unprecedented time for us all. Many people are struggling in vulnerable situations at home, whether it be not having the resources to secure food for their families, or struggling with the new challenges that the “stay home” order has caused.
With the pandemic setting in, people have been facing a number of vulnerable situations now that they are ordered to stay home. Sadly, home is not a safe place for everyone. We must remember that domestic violence is something many people face in silence. Unfortunately, there has been a spike in in domestic violence with the onset of COVID-19. The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation proudly supports local shelters during unsafe times – the Redwood Shelter and Women’s Habitat in Etobicoke. Royal LePage Realtors support this foundation by making donations, organizing fundraisers and participating in the events as well.
HOW CAN WE HELP? Send a note of appreciation to you local shelter staff and if you are able include a modest gift card to help them buy essentials for the women and children they serve.
We have seen grocery stores quickly empty as the Coronavirus swept across the nation, causing many citizens to panic buy and stock up. Many of us have the luxury to be able to afford groceries during this difficult and unpredictable time, however this is not the case for everyone. Over 350,000 people accessed a food bank in Ontario alone and these numbers continue to rise. Shelters are having to reduce capacity sizes to minimize group size and pop-up overflow shelters are being created to house those in need. The pandemic is affecting more than our health, it is affecting our community.
Food banks in Ontario have seen a 20% increase in patrons in just a few short weeks. A large spike that happens so rapidly is concerning for food banks as demand for supplies will continue to rise as time goes on. Many people are using food banks who have not used them on a regular basis because many have found themselves out of work during the pandemic. Food banks hope that the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit will deflect the crowds they are facing and hopefully will allow them to get a handle on replenishing food supply. There are ways you can safely help food banks during this time.
HOW CAN WE HELP? See if your local grocery store has a donation bin for non perishable items.
Homeless Population & Shelters
Shelters are set up all over the city of Toronto and now are seeing more people than usual. Many homeless people in the city who opt to live on the streets are deciding to seek shelter incase the virus affects them. Police are even urging the homeless to seek out shelter. The issue here is that social distancing is in full effect and shelters are seeing more people. Many shelters have lowered their capacity numbers and are setting up overflow locations to help those in need. The FirstOntario centre in Hamilton is being used as a 50-bed surge shelter for homeless men. They have access to food, showers and a nurse makes a visit 4 times per week.
Intake processes in shelters across Ontario have drastically changed to ensure those who have come in contact with the Coronavirus take the proper measure to keep others safe. Frontline workers are often overlooked in shelters and are considered an essential service. If you know someone who is a social worker, case manager or works at a shelter, do your part to support them. Whether it be checking in to see how they are feeling during this stressful time or offering to help deliver their groceries.
HOW CAN WE HELP? We can do our part to check in on each other and spread love and positivity.
The Coronavirus is affecting all of us in one way or another. It is so important to do our part as a community during this time and band together as one.
HOW CAN WE HELP? See if an eldery neighbour needs assistance getting their groceries, check in on a frontline worker to see how they are holding up and remember to celebrate your small victories.
We are in this together.