Message from Bonnie Crombie (Mayor of Mississauga) to TSKG. Re: COVID-19

From: Natasha Mistry <Natasha.Mistry@mississauga.ca>
Date: Wed, Apr 15, 2020, 16:29
Subject: Social Service Organizations Consultation Follow-Up – April 14, 2020
To: Mayor Bonnie Crombie <mayor@mississauga.ca>
Cc: Natasha Mistry <Natasha.Mistry@mississauga.ca>


Hello representatives of Social Service Organizations, 

 

Thank you for participating in yesterday’s discussion. Your input helps us better understand the impacts of COVID-19 in local communities. I also appreciated hearing your proposals and suggestions on how to address these challenges.

 

I want to thank our Councillors, Dr. Lawrence Loh and  representatives from Peel Region for participating in the discussion. We had well over 90 social service organizations participating on the call. Below is a summary from our discussion and attached you will find a copy of the minutes. Please feel free to share this information with others you feel relevant.


Below are themes and key points that were raised from our meeting:

  • Organizations noted that they are adjusting to a new normal and this is not business as usual. COVID-19 will have a long-term impact on the landscape of the non-profit world;
  • Many non-profits have altered and shifted programming to online and virtual networks. Many youth-based organizations are capitalizing on social media platforms to share messaging or services;
  • There were several themes that have emerged on community needs for organizations supporting vulnerable residents. Some key issues included the lack of food access, inability for those experiencing violence to reach out and limited access to technology or the internet;
  • In fact, many organizations highlighted that access to technology has become an important need during this crisis. There is a desire to provide hardware and software to vulnerable families, youth and seniors;
  • There has been a strong response from the community to volunteer services to support residents in need.  Residents have been encouraged to reach out to organizations directly to offer services. Coordination support is being provided by Volunteer MBC to match volunteers to organizations in need of support while helping to mitigate risks for volunteers and residents related to COVID-19; 
  • Food Bank organizations (The Mississauga Food Bank, Seva, Sai Dham, Compass, Eden Food For Change, etc.) have all noted a dramatic uptake in demand as well as new clients. There are more people than ever accessing the food bank system. They anticipate a growing vulnerable population and are working to raise funds to address the growing need;
  • Faith-based organizations are now unable to congregate and are losing the funding stream that keep their programs afloat; and
  • Indigenous representatives wanted to learn more about the hurdles indigenous communities face in accessing these offers of service. Region of Peel representatives will be working directly to collect information on this request.

Recommendations:

  • It was suggested that the City establish one central location to post, highlight and share available services offered to the community. Many participants on the call shared their emergency program services and websites that offer help during COVID-19;  
  • Social service organizations requested continued communication from the City so they can share the most up to date information with their clients and members;
  • There was a suggestion to pool together all social service groups in order to raise funds collectively.

Here are several resources you will find helpful:

•     City of Mississauga COVID-19 site: www.mississauga.ca/coronavirus

·       The City’s Older Adults COVID-19 resource page is now live. On the site, you will find a one-pager that focuses on resource phone numbers for that can be printed and shared with those unable to access the internet: https://web.mississauga.ca/city-of-mississauga-news/covid-19/guidance-for-older-adults-and-caregivers/

·       the City’s Economic Development Office offers free webinars for businesses: https://www.thefutureisunlimited.ca/event-tag/small-business/  as well as a Business Relief Portal https://www.thefutureisunlimited.ca/covid-19/  where businesses can use the selector tool to discover which federal and provincial supports apply to them.  

·       Applications and information regarding the Region’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund:
https://www.peelregion.ca/community-investments/funds.asp

  • The Region of Peel’s Coronavirus webpage: http://peelregion.ca/coronavirus/ has a wide range of resources for Peel residents. Webpages provide focused information:
  • Street Outreach for homeless individuals: the Street Helpline (1-877-848-8481) is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the weekend.
  • Regional Community Response Table: this virtual table of agency partners from across Peel meets three times each week for one hour to collaborate for efficient operations and service delivery in responding to emerging needs of vulnerable and at-risk populations in Peel. Members support coordination, information sharing, problem solving, and collaboration among Peel Region’s not-for-profit and community sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In terms of next steps, staff will be working towards actionable items to address the concerns raised. We plan to continue this dialogue with you. In the meantime, if you have any further concerns or questions, please feel free to reach out to my staff: Natasha Mistry, Stakeholder Relations Senior Advisor at: Natasha.mistry@mississauga.ca  

 

Warm regards,

Bonnie Crombie
Mayor of Mississauga

 

Best wishes,

Natasha Mistry
On behalf of Mayor Crombie

Natasha Mistry, MPA

Senior Advisor, Stakeholder Relations, Office of the Mayor

T 905-896-5065

Natasha.Mistry@mississauga.ca | twitter.com/BonnieCrombie

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