Sheehan Announces Funding of almost a $1 million Locally to Support People Facing Homelessness during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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MP Sheehan Announces $836,590 in Federal Funds for the Reaching Home Program, $400,000 Increase Included to Support People Facing Homelessness during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Government of Canada has provided a significant increase of support during the COVID-19 pandemic, through the Reaching Home Program. Reaching Home is a community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness by providing direct support and funding to communities across Canada.

“We have taken many actions to limit the risk of contracting COVID-19 locally. This announcement is intended to help vulnerable citizens, and the staff and volunteers who work with these Canadians. By working with all Canadians, we protect lives and help mitigate community spread.” said, Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament Sault Ste. Marie

COVID-19 Relief Funds allow communities to enact prevention and preparation activities by, securing additional accommodation to reduce overcrowding in shelters; purchasing supplies and materials to reduce the risk of transmission, such as personal protective equipment for staff; and increasing the frequency of cleaning with disinfectants in high traffic areas.
If required, the funding can further allow communities to invest in securing sufficient accommodation to quarantine individuals infected; purchasing beds and physical barriers to place between beds in newly purposed facilities; and toward staff hours to operate these new facilities.

“Importantly, all decisions as they pertain to funding allocations are made locally by the organizations that are serving this area.” says Sheehan

The public health guidance to mitigate risks of infection, such as self-isolation and social distancing, assumes access to a private home. Inability to follow these guidelines represents a very significant risk of community transmission.

“On behalf of the DSSAB Board and staff, we would like to thank the government on Canada and MP Sheehan for the additional funds provided through Reaching Home. This funding helps us to support and protect those in our community who do not have the resources to weather this pandemic. The investments made will keep our whole community safer today and help to provide better infrastructure for the plans of tomorrow.” said, Luke Dufour, Board Chair District of Sault Ste. Marie Social Services Administration Board

Homelessness presents significant increased risks of contracting COVID-19. People living unsheltered have limited ability to prevent infection.

“The Indigenous Friendship Centre in Sault Ste. Marie is grateful to have been a part of the COVID-19 housing funding. We have come critically close to accepting the homelessness situation as a problem that we just can’t solve but with the work of a collective community with the same focus -we can do this. We are doing it.” said, Cathy Syrette, Executive Director
Indian Friendship Centre of Sault Ste. Marie