The Ontario government is investing $150 million in additional support to municipalities and Urban Indigenous communities to protect vulnerable people from issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an announcement made by Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford earlier today.
The investment will go towards improving and renovating homeless shelters that will help with physical distancing in the short term, as well as create opportunities for longer term housing and sustainable solutions to homelessness.
“We are standing shoulder to shoulder with our municipal and Indigenous community partners to ensure our most vulnerable citizens are protected during these difficult times,” Ford said in a press release. “Today’s investment builds on our collective efforts to help people get back on their feet quickly and recover from this global crisis.”
With today’s announcement, the Ontario government has invested a total $350 million to municipal service managers and Urban Indigenous program administrators through its Social Services Relief Fund.
The provincial government initially invested $148 million to support municipalities, food banks, and homeless shelters in March, and later expanded their Emergency Assistance program by $52 million for people in emergency situations and to give support for vulnerable social assistance recipients.
“The initial $148 million literally saved lives in communities across Ontario,” Jamie McGarvey, the president of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, said. “The additional $150 million announced today will help offset the added costs of addressing homelessness and protecting the most vulnerable from COVID-19.”