United Way Halton & Hamilton COVID-19 Response
March 18, 2020
Community binds us together. Community is also at the heart of everything we do. Amidst these times of rapidly evolving news and uncertainty, I can assure you, that your United Way remains focused on supporting those who need it the most.
We know the COVID-19 virus is top of mind for members in our community. Especially for those most vulnerable, and for those who find themselves on reduced or restricted working hours. We also anticipate this pandemic to increase not only the usage of poverty-based programs such as food banks, we are also preparing for increased demand in family and mental health services and supports.
The health and safety of our communities is our priority. We know you may have questions about what United Way Halton & Hamilton (UWHH) is doing to help keep the community healthy.
We want to share the actions we’re taking to help protect our team, their families, and the 129 supported programs serving the needs of 200,000 people in our community – and what you can do to help.
The team has fully deployed a remote workforce, and, with a few adjustments, our work is business as usual. Donations remain hard at work, supporting those in the community who find themselves struggling.
Be assured, your United Way is working tirelessly, to ensure no one is left without the support they need.
Support to 129 Local Community Programs
United Way is working with local agencies to understand how to support shifts in service and increased demand. We have reached out to each organization offering greater flexibility and are in the process of assessing resources required to expand capacity.
The investment strategy remains intact as agencies continue to receive funding for their vital work.
For a full list of programs, Click Here
Do you know someone struggling? Call 211.
Powered in partnership with United Way, 211 is a helpline available by phone, chat or online search that helps Ontario residents navigate the complex network of government, health, community, and social service programs. It is a service offered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with interpretation in over 150 languages.
Uninterrupted Services and Remote Workforce
Beginning March 16th, UWHH mandated a remote workforce for staff. The business continuity strategy is fully activated, and work-from-home policies are in effect. As a digital-first organization, the team is utilizing already established IT tools and resources for teleconference meetings and virtual video conferencing.
Event Cancellations and Postponement
Event cancellations are important measures to take. UWHH has cancelled or postponed events and in-person meetings. This step will remain in place until public health authorities determine it is suitable to resume traditional business practices.
Local Convening and National Coordination
Both local and federal government discussions are actively taking place with a focus on how United Ways are responding, working closely with community agency partners, public health and local emergency management.
United Way is also advocating for the need for investments in Canada’s community services infrastructure as communities respond to shifting community needs, with a focus on the most vulnerable. Dialogue surrounds the importance of sustaining the resilience of Canada’s Human Services infrastructure, from downstream impacts of an economic downturn.
What can community do?
At this time, it is vital we take care of ourselves, family, friends, neighbours, and colleagues. We all have a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Our new reality is going to put even more people into situations where they find themselves in need of support. That is why we are working with local government and organizations, to understand how we can collectively support our community even more.
This is a time when we must all stand together to support one another. Every day I continue to be moved by the power of our community and by our donors. Your commitment to supporting those in need is an inspiration.
Please consider supporting our efforts by donating today. Your gift will make a significant difference in the lives of so many.
President and CEO