Hamilton’s emergency COVID shelter system will have its costs covered to the end of 2021 thanks to $12 Million in new funding announced by the Ontario government today. Hamilton’s Emergency Services manager Paul Johnson said the announcement was “very welcome news”
“Our government recognizes risk of the variants of concern and has taken immediate action to help protect vulnerable people,” said Donna Skelly, MPP for Flamborough-Glanbrook. “To date, under the Social Services Relief fund, the province has provided $36,902,050 to service managers and Indigenous program partners support shelters, create longer-term housing solutions and help vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19 in the City of Hamilton.”
Today’s announcement is part of $255 million that will allow Provincial service managers and Indigenous program partners can use the funding to acquire motel and hotel spaces to support physical distancing of shelter residents, hire more shelter staff, purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies, and add to rent and utility banks to prevent more people from becoming homeless.
“At the onset of COVID-19, our government directed service managers to put outbreak management plans in place, complete Infection, Prevention and Control (IPAC) education by Public Health Ontario, and prepare for increases in COVID-19 cases in shelter spaces,” said Minister Clark. “With new COVID-19 variants of concern now in Ontario, there is an increased risk of spread to vulnerable people. That is why in addition to new funding, we recently directed service managers to attest that outbreak management plans in all emergency shelter facilities have been updated in accordance with IPAC guidance, to report any gaps in IPAC requirements and planned next steps, and to be transparent about the use of new and existing Social Services Relief Fund spending.”