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March 24, 2020

COVID-19 Emergency Fund launched to rally support for most vulnerable
United Way, front-line agencies, convene community and social service response to COVID-19

Tuesday, March 24, 2020, Halton & Hamilton — These are challenging and vulnerable times, yet, amongst all of the uncertainty, we see a strong community, banding together, in a new and extraordinary fashion.

COVID-19 is putting our social safety net under incredible stress.

And now, more than ever, we need each other.

Your United Way is responding to the urgent need. Today, with frontline agencies in mind, we announce the launch of the COVID-19 Emergency Fund.

COVID-19 is putting our social safety net under incredible stress. We know that many people cannot afford to prepare, and do not have a support system around them as this pandemic impacts everyone.

United Way Halton & Hamilton has created the COVID-19 Emergency Fund to back the work of our frontline partner agencies, and the supports that they provide. This fund can be found on a new page of the United Way website and will provide information and referral, as well as allow for people to make a donation to support those most in need.

“In these unprecedented times, we are especially concerned for those who are most vulnerable, and this will only increase as this pandemic continues,” says executive director of Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton, Kim Martin.

Community Development Halton states, “Community social services were already stretched before COVID-19 and are now facing what may be their greatest challenge yet.  Support for these vital programs is needed now more than ever.”

Working with community partners, United Way has identified the following needs, which will continue to grow:

  • Basic needs – ensure people have access to life’s essentials, such as food, baby formula, diapers.
  • Help for the vulnerable who are isolated, including seniors – ensure that while vulnerable people are isolated, they are also supported.
  • Mental health support – ensure support for individuals and families experiencing stress and or temporary job loss / economic strain.
  • Capacity for community services – ensure that frontline community agencies working with our most vulnerable can continue to do their vital work.

“Now is the time to band together and embrace the power of community,” says Brad Park, president and CEO of United Way Halton & Hamilton. “I have seen firsthand how amazing this community is when we work together – we are stronger together, and we must stand united.  Please consider supporting our efforts by donating today.  Your gift will make a significant difference in the lives of so many.”

“Agency and community partners providing vital supports such as food, mental health supports, and support to isolated seniors, are telling us that given the COVID-19 response requirements, they will need community support to continue helping the most vulnerable – who are disproportionately affected by this crisis,” says Park.

“We are stronger together. The time is now,” urges Park.

This is a critical time for everyone. Please visit us at www.uwhh.ca.

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About United Way Halton & Hamilton
United Way Halton & Hamilton (UWHH) is committed to leading measurable, impactful change by identifying the most challenging issues in our community, and bringing together people and resources to address those issues. We connect volunteers with local needs, and offer training and operational support to local charities. Along with our network of partners and experts, UWHH conducts research and works with key stakeholders to generate support for the not-for-profit sector. Each dollar raised is invested right back into the community. Today, 202,421 residents across Halton and Hamilton rely on 129 United Way supported programs for life-changing services.

Outside of government, United Way is the largest funder of social service programs and initiatives in Canada.

About the United Way Halton & Hamilton COVID-19 Emergency Fund
The COVID-19 Emergency Fund has been established to help support the community’s most vulnerable in a difficult and challenging time. The Fund is intended to provide monetary support to community-based agencies that are working on the front line with individuals experiencing poverty, isolation, as well as those who are supporting families under stress.

We know that many people cannot afford to prepare, and do not have a support system around them as this pandemic impacts households.

COVID-19 is putting our social safety net under incredible stress and the situation is changing hour by hour. By giving through United Way Halton & Hamilton, you can be sure your generosity gets to where it is needed most. We are working in collaboration with the municipal and regional government, front-line agencies, other funders and are consulting with key partners to coordinate investments to ensure that we are making the biggest impact possible. When the need is so great, we must invest wisely.

About Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton (SPRC)
SPRC is a non-profit, registered charitable organization incorporated in 1966, and is governed by a community-based Board of Directors. The goal of SPRC is to improve the quality of life for everyone in Hamilton through research, community development, community engagement, and system and service planning.

About Community Development Halton
Through research, community development, planning, and promoting volunteerism, Community Development Halton strives to improve the quality of life for all residents of Halton. The primary purpose of Community Development Halton (CDH) is to build and strengthen the community of Halton. It focuses on the social impact of larger social, economic, political and cultural forces on individuals, families and the broad community. CDH is committed to social development as a desired state of community well-being and social change as a continual process towards achieving and sustaining social development for everyone in the community.

For more information and to donate visit: www.uwhh.ca

Brenda Hajdu
Vice President Marketing and Communications
United Way Halton & Hamilton
C: 416-779-5758

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