February 2021: Information Sharing Edition
 In this edition: 

  • P2P Lunch & Learn: Volunteer Income Tax Programs
  • City After-School Programs Return to Help Parents in Need
  • City of Windsor Recreation Survey
  • February is Black History Month
  • Virtual Support with Connections
  • Caring for the Caregiver Research Project
  • SECC Monthly February Calendar
  • MCC February Activities and Programming
  • Video Town Hall: Equity, Economic Recovery & COVID-19
  • Canada Healthy Communities Initiative (CHCI)
  • In the News
  • Local COVID-19 Information & Resources
P2P Lunch & Learn: Volunteer Income Tax Programs
2021 P2P Lunch & Learn Series

Topic: Volunteer Income Tax Programs in Windsor-Essex

Tuesday, February 23, 2021
12:00 - 12:30 pm
Pathway to Potential is hosting a Lunch & Learn webinar on the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program services that are available to Windsor-Essex residents with low-modest incomes.

We will be joined by Judy Lund and Daniela Pastorius, with Family Services Windsor-Essex, and Katie Ouellette, with the South Essex Community Council. They will be presenting information on their free income tax programs and will be available to answer questions following the presentation.

Please register to attend below. We look forward to seeing you!
Download a flyer for the Lunch & Learn here.

Contact us at p2p@citywindsor.ca if you have any questions or issues connecting to the meeting.
City After-School Programs Return to Help Parents in Need
The City of Windsor will resume after-school programming to help parents who have children returning to the classroom the week of February 8th.

Four locations will be open from Monday to Friday, excluding P.A. days, holidays and March Break:

  • Capri Pizzeria Recreation Complex (3 to 6 p.m.)
  • Adie Knox Herman Recreation Complex (2:30 to 5:30 p.m.)
  • Windsor Water World (3:30 to 6 p.m.)
  • Gino & Liz Marcus Community Complex (3 to 6 p.m.)

Eligible students are those enrolled in elementary and secondary schools, except at Gino & Liz Marcus Community Complex, which will be open for elementary students only.

If interested, please contact the facility of your choice directly.

COVID-19 safety protocols remain in place to ensure the health and safety of all participants and staff.

Healthy pre-packaged snacks are provided at each location, along with homework assistance and opportunities for physical activity.
City of Windsor Recreation Survey
In December 2019, Council approved the Recreation Master Plan which is the guiding document for the department moving forward.

One of the major Goal Statements within the plan is: ”Every citizen has an equal right to participate and benefit from recreation services. The City will work with community partners to enhance ways of including underrepresented populations.”

We are currently working with a network of representatives from diverse communities that support inclusivity. In order to assist the group to make recommendations in the future, we want to hear from you! We thank you in advance for taking the time to complete this brief survey.

Thank you, 
City of Windsor Recreation & Culture Department
February is Black History Month
Every February, people in Canada are invited to participate in Black History Month festivities and events that honour the legacy of Black Canadians and their communities.

The 2021 theme for Black History Month is "The Future is Now”, a chance to celebrate and acknowledge the transformative work that Black Canadians and their communities are doing now.

On February 2, 2021, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens and Councillor Fabio Costante joined with community members to celebrate the naming of Mary E. Bibb Park in Sandwich Town as part of Black History Month commemorations in Windsor-Essex

The unveiling of the park’s new name is especially significant as part of Black History Month, a time when people across Canada celebrate, honour and reflect on the contributions of Black Canadians.

Black History Month is also commemorated in the United States, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Commemorations of this sort help all Windsor residents to learn about Black Canadians whose stories should never be forgotten and to engage in meaningful dialogue to further combat systemic and systematic racism in our society.

Read the full announcement about this commemoration on the City of Windsor newsroom page.
Virtual Support with Connections
Sharing on behalf of P2P partner Connections Early Years Family Centre:

Call us with your questions at any time or book a personal support session at no cost!
  • Receive tutorials for setting up and using Zoom
  • Learn what to expect from virtual programs over Zoom
  • Call or e-mail us to troubleshoot issues with Zoom
  • Connect with staff for info on family support during COVID-19

Available at no cost and on a flexible schedule. For support, please call 519.252.9696 or e-mail info@connectwithus.ca

Funded by the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Emergency Community Support Fund. Thank you to United Way Windsor-Essex for supporting this initiative.
Caring for the Caregiver Research Project
HDGH and the University of Windsor are working on a new research project “Caregiving for the Caregiver”. 

They are asking caregivers to adults (18 and older) with a mental illness and/or addiction to share their experiences

Participants would complete a short (20-minute), online survey and have the option to participate in a longer, 30 min interview with their team (participants of the interview will be compensated $10 for their time). 

Flyers are available to promote the research study to caregivers here.
SECC Monthly February Calendar
Download a flyer with the February 2021 settlement events hosted by the South Essex Community Council (SECC).
MCC February Activities and Programming
Download a flyer with the February activities and programs by the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County.
Video Town Hall: Equity, Economic Recovery & COVID-19
COVID-19 has disproportionately affected low-income neighbourhoods and essential workers. These neighbourhoods are densely populated, and comprised of overcrowded housing arrangements, and crowded bus routes. As essential workers, these individuals do not have jobs that allow them to work from home, and are disproportionately Black, Indigenous and People of Colour.

What impact does this reality have on our collective economic recovery? What policy changes can address these issues and lead Ontario to a strong recovery for all?

Join First Policy Response and TVO on Thursday, February 25 from 10:00am - 11:30am as we convene a panel of experts and practitioners to discuss these important questions.
Canada Healthy Communities Initiative (CHCI)
The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative (CHCI) is providing up to $31 million in existing federal funding to support communities as they deploy new ways to adapt spaces and services to respond to immediate and ongoing needs arising from COVID-19 over the next two years.

Starting in the winter of 2021, the initiative will accept applications to fund local, small-scale infrastructure projects, programming, and services that respond to these new realities. Whether it’s pop-up bike paths, community gardens, art installations or Wi-Fi hot spots, or other programs and services, Canadians want to be able to work, live and play in safe, vibrant, and inclusive communities. This program is designed to help communities achieve this potential.

The Healthy Communities Initiative will provide funding to a broad range of organizations, including local governments, charities, Indigenous communities, and nonprofits, for projects, programming, and services that help communities:
  • create safe and vibrant public spaces,  
  • improve mobility options and  
  • provide innovative digital solutions to connect people and improve health.  

The program is currently in the final stages of development. The WindsorEssex Community Foundation (WECF) is proud to take part in the CHCI, stay tuned for more details.
New Order $5K Fine Could Harm Windsor's Low-Income Communities
A local legal aid service worries that the hefty financial consequence of a new order being imposed by the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit next month will harm people of low income.

On Thursday, Windsor-Essex's medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed said the health unit is issuing a new order, effective Feb. 1, that involves a $5,000 fine for anyone breaking COVID-19 isolation requirements.

The order applies to anyone in Windsor-Essex with COVID-19, anyone symptomatic and awaiting test results, anyone identified as a close contact and anyone with symptoms or reason to believe they may have the disease.

But the charges associated with the order are likely to add more stress and pressure to a population that's already struggling to make ends meet, according to the executive director of Legal Assistance Windsor Marion Overholt. 

Overholt told CBC News that she's worried about low income communities being disproportionately targeted, due to their work and living situations.
Enhanced Safety Measures in Place as In-Person Learning Resumes Across Ontario
Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced the dates for the return of in-person learning in all remaining Ontario public health units (PHUs), including Windsor-Essex, as elementary and secondary students were able to return to class February 8th.

To support the safe return of in-person learning, Ontario has introduced new measures to continue to protect students and staff against COVID-19 in the classroom. These measures include:

  • Provincewide access, in consultation with the local PHU, to targeted asymptomatic testing for students and staff;
  • Mandatory masking requirement for students in Grades 1-3, and masking requirement for Grades 1-12 outdoors where physical distancing cannot be maintained;
  • Providing 3.5 million high quality cloth masks to schools as back-up supply for Grade 1-12 students;
  • Enhanced screening for secondary students and staff;
  • Guidance discouraging students from congregating before and after school; and,
  • Temporary certification of eligible teacher candidates who are set to graduate in 2021 to stabilize staffing levels, following high levels of absenteeism.

To further promote health and safety for students and staff, Ontario recently made an additional $381 million in funding available for schools. Provided under the federal Safe Return to Class Fund, this funding will be used to improve air quality and ventilation in schools, support online learning, promote student mental health and hire additional staff. In total, Ontario has provided schools with more than $1.6 billion to protect against COVID-19.
Ontario Community Support Program Extended until 2022
The Ontario government is extending the Ontario Community Support Program (OCSP) until 2022 to ensure that low-income seniors and people with disabilities have access to food, medicine and other essentials during COVID-19.

The program was established in April 2020, and involves an innovative partnership with the Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) and its large volunteer base in communities across the province. During that period nearly 800,000 deliveries have been made.

The OCSP operates in communities across the province by matching volunteer services with seniors, people with disabilities and other vulnerable Ontarians through an online registration system. Volunteers are stepping up in significant numbers to give their time and efforts to fellow Ontarians who need support to meet the challenges of COVID-19.
Ontario Expanding Supports for Families of Children with Autism
The Ontario government is providing additional supports for families of children on the autism spectrum.

Starting in March, the province will begin offering core clinical services based on a child's individual needs, a key element of the new Ontario Autism Program. These services include applied behaviour analysis, speech language pathology, occupational therapy and mental health supports.

Recognizing the challenges and uncertainty families are facing as a result of COVID-19, the government will be offering an additional extension of funding to purchase eligible services and supports parents feel are most appropriate for their children as the province continues to implement a needs-based autism program. Further details about eligibility and how to apply for the extension of funding will be shared in the coming weeks.
Mental Health of Health Care Workers in Canada during COVID-19
Seven in ten health care workers who participated in a recent crowdsourcing initiative reported worsening mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to results released by Statistics Canada.

Participating health care workers who worked in direct contact with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 and those who experienced restrictions or conditions on the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) were more affected than others.

These findings come from a new crowdsourcing initiative, Impacts of COVID-19 on Health Care Workers: Infection Prevention and Control, developed by Statistics Canada in collaboration with Health Canada, the Canadian Institute for Health Information and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Key findings include:
  • One-third of participating health care workers report fair or poor mental health;
  • Three-quarters of health care workers working in direct contact with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases report worsening mental health;
  • Access to appropriate personal protective equipment is associated with better self-reported mental health and lower stress levels.

Read the full article by Statistics Canada in The Daily.
Trends Show a Decline in Reported Mental Health among Youth
As reported in The Daily, Canadians aged 15 to 30 are less obese, more active and smoke less than older Canadians. However, when compared with Canadian youth 20 years ago, they are more obese, less active and eat fewer servings of fruit and vegetables.

These findings are from the first chapter, "Health of youth in Canada", of Portrait of Youth in Canada: Data Report, a brand-new publication that will highlight what is known about Canadian youth. In the next few months, Portrait of Youth in Canada will focus on themes such as demographics, employment, education, social engagement and well-being, the environment, and Indigenous youth.

The first chapter also reveals worse mental health for Canada's youth, in comparison both with older Canadians (before and during the COVID-19 pandemic) and with youths 20 years ago

A decade ago, young Canadians reported more positive mental health than their older counterparts. In 2011/2012, for example, 74% of females aged 15 to 30 reported excellent or very good mental health, compared with 69% of females aged 47 and older.

However, this picture has reversed since then, and, in 2019, a lower proportion of Canadian youth reported having excellent or very good mental health than older Canadians. The difference was essentially driven by young females: 54% reported excellent or very good mental health, compared to 69% of females aged 47 and older.
Local COVID-19 Information & Resources
As announced February 8, 2021, the Ontario government is moving to a regional approach and maintaining the shutdown in the majority of the public health regions in Ontario, including the Stay-at-Home Order and all existing public health and workplace safety measures.
When it is safe to do so, the province will gradually transition each region from the shutdown measures to a revised and strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open.

The Stay-at-Home Order will be in effect in Windsor-Essex until Tuesday, February 16, 2021.
Drive-Thru/Walk-Up Food Hub Locations:
Unemployed Help Centre of Windsor Inc.
6955 Cantelon Dr., Windsor, ON
P: 519-944-4900
Monday, Wednesday, & Friday
9:30 AM to 2:00 PM
Adie Knox Herman Recreation Complex
1551 Wyandotte St. W., Windsor, ON

Tuesday & Thursday
11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
For food hamper deliveries/referrals call UHC's Food Assistance Helpline:
519-944-4900 ext. 3

For more information about Drive-thru/Walk-up Food Hubs and Food Banks, please visit the Windsor Essex Food Bank Association website.
Municipal Social Investment Efforts
City of Windsor
Stephen Lynn
519-255-5200 ext. 5302
Teresa Falsetta Aflak
519-255-5200 ext. 6809
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