January 2021: Information Sharing Edition
 In this edition: 

  • Upcoming Webinar Opportunity: Income Tax Services
  • Support for Residents During Extreme Cold Weather
  • Hand Sanitizer Giveaway
  • International Student Survey
  • New Local 211 Website
  • Virtual Windsor-Essex EarlyON Programming
  • Amherstburg Community Services has a New Location
  • Campaign 2000’s Annual Report on Child & Family Poverty
  • Canada Summer Jobs 2021 Application Period is Open until January 29th
  • In the News
  • Local COVID-19 Information & Resources
Upcoming Webinar Opportunity: Income Tax Services
Save the Date!
2021 P2P Lunch & Learn Series

Topic: Income Tax Services

Tuesday, February 23, 2021
12:00 - 12:30 pm
Save the Date for our next Lunch & Learn webinar.

We will be presenting information about the free income tax services that are available to Windsor-Essex residents with low/modest incomes.

Stay tuned for registration and meeting information.
Support for Residents During Extreme Cold Weather
With winter weather upon us, the City of Windsor is reminding at-risk individuals of the options available in our community when extreme cold strikes.

Extreme cold weather alerts are issued by the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) when the temperatures are minus 27 Celsius (minus 16.6 Fahrenheit) with or without the wind chill for one day.

Those most at risk during cold weather include individuals who are experiencing homelessness or who are inadequately or under-housed; individuals who work outdoors; individuals who have a pre-existing heart condition or respiratory illness; the elderly; infants and young children.

Residents can reach out to a number of locations to get out of the cold or access resources. More information is available on the City of Windsor website.
Hand Sanitizer Giveaway
Local non-profits, shelters, or social service delivery partners are eligible for FREE hand sanitizer. 

Please contact sanitizer@citywindsor.ca to arrange pick-up or drop-off.

For more details, please visit the City of Windsor Newsroom website.
International Student Survey
The Windsor Essex Local Immigration Partnership (WE LIP) is currently conducting a survey to learn more about the experience of international students when they are living in Windsor-Essex. This survey will help organizations in the community learn more about the needs of international students so that they can offer better services and support.

If you are a current or recent student studying at St. Clair College or the University of Windsor we would like to hear from you. Even if you are not living in Windsor right now, taking a break from school but plan to go back, or are done school but trying to get a job in your field of study, we still want your feedback. All responses will remain anonymous.

Once you have completed the survey, you may enter a draw to win a grocery gift card valued at $100.

The survey closes on February 1st, 2021.
New 211 Website for Southwest Ontario
211 has launched a new website which provides an easy way to search for local services: 211southwest.ca/

This new resource may be helpful for providing information to clients or to direct them to find information regarding local services. 211 is also available by phone for further assistance.
Virtual Windsor-Essex EarlyON Programming
Check out W.E. EarlyON Virtual Programming!
Amherstburg Community Services has a New Location
P2P partner Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) has moved to a new location in the Amherstburg Community Hub at 320 Richmond Street (the former St. Bernard school location). The phone number for ACS remains the same, and they can be reached at (519) 736-5471.

Amherstburg Community Services is a not-for-profit organization that works to improve the overall standard of living and quality of life for local residents. ACS specializes in providing services or information on services that are available through other local and federal organizations that help individuals and the community. ACS is proud to provide over 20 different services to residents of Amherstburg, LaSalle, Harrow, and McGregor.

ACS also assists families with access to recreation subsidies for children and youth, in partnership with Pathway to Potential. 

The office is closed during Lockdown, however ACS continues to provide essential services such as:
  • Meals On Wheels
  • CareLink Accessible Transportation
  • Food Bank
  • Foot Care & Massage Therapy
  • Senior Reassurance Phone Calls/Senior Engagement Doorstep packages
  • Phone Engagement Senior Activities

The Amhersburg Community Hub is also home to the Essex County Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic and will be the new home of the House Youth Centre, Fighting Island Boxing Club, and the Verdi Club.
Campaign 2000’s Annual Report on Child & Family Poverty

New findings show that prior to the pandemic, over 1,330,000 children in Canada lived in poverty, and the child poverty rate declined less than half a percentage point between 2017-2018 from 18.6% to 18.2%. Nearly 1 in 5 children continue to experience the harsh long-term consequences that poverty and discrimination have on social, mental and physical health and well-being.

Select key findings from the 2020 National Report Card, Beyond the Pandemic: Rising Up for a Canada Free of Poverty include:

  • Nearly 1 in 5 children lived in poverty (1,337,570 or 18.2%) in Canada in 2018.
  • The national child poverty rate declined by less than half a percentage point between 2017 to 2018, from 18.6% to 18.2%, representing 19,410 children fewer children in poverty.
  • The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) had a significant impact on child poverty rates the year it was implemented, but this lack of progress suggests that benefits were front-ended and short lived. In 2018, the CCB protected 662,080 from falling into poverty.
  • 1.2 million children were food insecure in 2017-2018, representing the highest number recorded since food insecurity monitoring began in Canada. The CCB has been shown to reduce severe food insecurity in families.
  • Well-designed government transfers can reduce poverty. In 2018, total government transfers reduced the child poverty rate from 33.1% to 18.2%, reflecting a difference of over one million fewer children living in poverty. But transfers alone are not enough.

A report card on Child Poverty Rates in Ontario is also available.
Canada Summer Jobs 2021 Application Period is Open until January 29th
The Canada Summer Jobs program provides wage subsidies to non-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses to help them create summer job opportunities for youth between the ages of 15 and 30.

The program focuses on the following objectives:
  • providing quality work experience for youth so that they can improve their skills
  • improving the access of youth to the labour market by responding to local and national needs.

Employers must have a Canada Revenue Agency business number and Small businesses that wish to apply for funding must have fewer than 50 full-time employees across Canada. More specifically, the program provides employers with the following wage subsidies:
  • up to 75% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage (in the private and public sectors)
  • up to 100% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage and of the mandatory employment-related costs (in the non-profit sector).

Since the 2020 campaign, the program has introduced the following temporary flexibilities to support employers and youth during the COVID-19 pandemic:
  • increasing the wage subsidies reimbursement rate
  • allowing part-time employment
  • extending the employment period beyond the summer months.

The 2021 application period is from 21 December 2020 to 29 January 2021.
  • Online applications must be received by noon (Pacific time). Online applications are the best and safest method to apply.
  • In-person submissions will be accepted until closing time of the relevant Service Canada Centre.
  • Mail submissions must be postmarked by Canada Post on or before the last submission date.

Canada Summer Jobs 2021 can be part-time or full-time (between 12 and 40 hours per week) in Canada between April 16, 2021 and February 26, 2022 for a minimum of 6 weeks.

Visit the website for full information about applying.
Digital Divide Improvements to Internet Access for County Residents
Another step forward for high speed internet for Essex County residents.

County council approved a $2.3 million loan guarantee to SWIFT, the Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology pilot project.

The $209-million project is meant to provide faster internet service to rural areas in Essex County that are currently underserviced.

Warden Gary McNamara says the broadband infrastructure for Essex County is expected to be complete by the end of 2021.

Read the full article by CTV News for more information.
As COVID-19 Persists, So Does Mental Health ‘Echo Pandemic’
As the deadly COVID-19 pandemic drags on, attacking hope, cementing fear and isolating us from each other, Windsor-Essex is in the grip of a mounting mental health crisis.

Family Services Windsor-Essex first started seeing more people reaching out for help in May, but since the current lockdown was announced Dec. 11, the numbers have increased dramatically.
  • There has been a 41-per-cent increase in community counselling clients and a 35-per-cent increase in clients for the organization’s Employee Assistance Program.
  • The agency served 7,708 unique clients between May and December. As of Tuesday, they had served 3,004 people since the latest lockdown was ordered in mid-December.

The Canadian Mental Health Association, Windsor-Essex County, has also seen a spike in calls for help.
  • From April 2019, to January 2020, the local organization fielded 10,806 calls to the Community Crisis Line. From April 2020 to January 2021 — with two weeks still left to go this month — they had received 12,578 calls.
  • Kim Willis, CMHA’s director of communications and mental health promotion, said there has also been a 25-per-cent increase in suicidal ideation or attempts among clients.

Read the full article by the Windsor Star.

If you’re struggling, you can call Family Services at 519-966-5010, the Canadian Mental Health Association’s 24-hour crisis line at 519-973-4435 or the 24/7 COVID support line at 1-877-451-1055.
Food Banks in Windsor-Essex See Growing Demand for Service
Vegetables and canned goods in a box
Food banks in Windsor-Essex are seeing a growing demand for their service during the pandemic, many being first-time users, according to June Muir, CEO of the Unemployed Help Centre (UHC).

She said a lot of the people accessing food banks are students, families and seniors who are out of work and need the support.

UHC reports it now provides food assistance to more than 1,600 adults and children per week.

People can pick up hampers, which are made up of non-perishable items and produce and provide a week's worth of food. The hampers are available at either the UHC office using a conveyor belt system or at Adie Knox in the west end of the city, which offers drive-thru pick-up.

Even with the growing demand, Muir said the region is "very fortunate" to be receiving help from the community.

Read the full article by CBC News Windsor.
'Historic' $170M Plan to Repair Community Housing
As reported by CBC News, Windsor city council has approved a $170-million plan to renew and repair its community housing between now and 2028.

The Windsor-Essex Community Housing Corporation (CHC) currently covers more than 4,700 units in 735 buildings. Much of its stock is decades-old, with construction of some facilities dating back to the 50s, 60s and 70s. The wait list for housing in the city has topped 5,500.

About $90 million of that funding would come from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The city and county would cover $40 million, adding another $40 million in the years to come.
Leamington Purchases School Land to Encourage Affordable Housing
Officials in Leamington say they hope the purchase of school land will bring badly needed affordable housing to the region.

The use of the two parcels of property — and whether the existing school buildings will stay — has yet to be determined but the municipality said the purchase was made to encourage affordable housing and support "other identified strategic long-term goals."

Mayor Hilda MacDonald said future development will create "better housing opportunities for Leamington residents and for newcomers who have been unable to settle here due to the lack of affordable properties."

The municipality said it will provide more details as plans develop.

Visit the CBC News website for the full article.
Ontario Temporarily Pauses Residential Evictions
The Ontario government has issued an emergency order to temporarily pause the enforcement of residential evictions and ensure people are not forced to leave their homes during the provincial declaration of emergency and while the stay-at-home-order is in force.

This is the second time in less than a year that the province has paused residential evictions. This emergency order will also protect homeowners who are facing evictions due to court orders for possession of their properties

Since the onset of COVID-19, Ontario has introduced a number of measures to protect tenants and provide supports to those most affected by the pandemic, such as freezing rent so the vast majority of Ontario's residential tenants will not see an increase this year.

Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act also require the Landlord and Tenant Board to consider whether a landlord attempted to negotiate a repayment agreement, before resorting to an eviction for non-payment of rent during COVID-19.
Safer at Home Programs Provide Relief to Ontario Families
The Ontario government is providing new financial supports for individuals, families and small businesses, as they do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the province's health care system during the Provincewide Shutdown.

The province is expanding the Support for Learners program to include secondary school students and lowering electricity prices to a discounted off-peak rate 24/7 for all time-of-use and tiered customers.

In January 2021, students aged 13 through Grade 12 will be eligible for funding under an expanded Support for Learners program. Parents or guardians will receive a one-time payment of $200 per eligible student to help offset education expenses. Support will be available for those who attend a public or private school or who are homeschooled.

To support people as they stay home during the Provincewide Shutdown, the government will hold electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 8.5 cents per kilowatt-hour for all time-of-use and tiered customers on a temporary basis starting January 1, 2021. This low rate will be available 24 hours per day, seven days a week for a 28-day period. The off-peak price will automatically be applied to bills of all residential, small business, and farm customers who pay regulated rates.

The province is also making it easier for families and businesses to get the support they need to help pay their energy bills through the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP). Any residential, small business, or registered charity customer with an overdue electricity or natural gas bill will now be eligible to apply. A residential customer can receive up to $750 to help cover their electricity bill and an additional $750 for their natural gas bill. Small businesses can receive up to $1500 for each. Newly eligible customers can apply for these enhanced benefits through their local utility, starting in January 2021.
Francophone Non-Profit Organizations can begin Applying for the COVID-19 Relief Fund on January 25th
The Ontario government announced that starting January 25, francophone non-profit organizations can begin applying for financial assistance from the $1 million COVID-19 Relief Fund.

The fund, which is being administered by the Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario, will provide operational funding to eligible organizations to support them during the pandemic.  

COVID-19 Relief Fund for Francophone Non-Profit Organizations applications will be accepted from January 25 until March 12, 2021. Interested organizations should consult the AFO website at to learn more.

Visit the Ontario Newsroom for the full announcement.
Ontario Investing in New Opportunities for Black Youth
The Ontario government is doubling funding for the Black Youth Action Plan by investing an additional $60 million over three years. This funding will renew existing Black Youth Action Plan programming, create a new economic empowerment programming stream and provide targeted supports to help Black families and communities recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new investments in the Black Youth Action Plan build on the success of the plan and are informed by consultations with community partners led by the Premier's Council on Equality of Opportunity to:

  • Sustain culturally-focused programs that promote family well-being, strengthen pathways to school, post-secondary education and careers and reduce youth violence.
  • Create a new economic empowerment stream that will provide the skills youth need to overcome social and economic barriers and achieve success, including completing their education, enhancing training and enabling them to participate in a future-oriented and talent-driven workforce.
  • Provide an additional $2.25 million to help Black communities address the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19. The funding will be used to provide urgent supports to children, youth and families such as housing needs, food security, access to technology, education, income and health and mental health supports. 
Local COVID-19 Information & Resources

As of January 14, 2021, the Ontario Government’s Emergency Stay-at-Home order took effect, requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for permitted purposes or activities, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for work. 

Visit the City of Windsor website for more information on municipal service updates.
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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