Ontario Providing More Support to Communities during COVID-19

Ross Romano

Additional funding helps keep vulnerable people safe in Sault Ste. Marie

The Ontario government is providing $1,688,400 to help the Sault Ste. Marie DSSAB deliver critical services, create longer-term housing solutions, and keep vulnerable people safe.

“This tremendous investment of almost $1.7 million will help to ensure that our municipal and Indigenous partners have the resources to protect our vulnerable communities,” said Ross Romano, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie and Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “Funding will be used to continue to support innovative solutions to create affordable housing and prevent homelessness, while also continuing to make critical investments to support the many people in our community suffering through severe addictions management.”

Today’s announcement is part of the province’s additional $307 million investment to help municipalities and Indigenous community partners respond to COVID-19. This investment builds upon the $765 million dollars of Social Services Relief Funding (SSRF) announced in 2020- 2021, for a total support to communities of over $1 billion.

“Municipalities have been on the frontlines of Ontario’s pandemic response and vaccine rollout, while continuing to protect our most vulnerable populations, including homeless populations,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Our government is committed to ensuring municipalities have the resources they need to keep their communities safe, and today’s funding will help our local partners deliver critical services, support vulnerable people, and unlock affordable housing in their communities.”

“The District of Sault Ste. Marie Social Services Administration Board is very grateful for the funds provided under SSRF,” said Luke Dufour, Chair of the SSM DSSAB. “These funds help us take direct action against the effects of the mental health and addictions crisis in our community.”

Municipalities and Indigenous community partners can use the funding to protect homeless shelter staff and residents, add to rent banks, build affordable housing, and support plans to prepare for potential future outbreaks and/or emergencies.

“As we continue to deal with the effects of COVID-19 on municipal operations, support from our government partners is vital, and I want to recognize and thank the Government of Ontario for its assistance,” said Christian Provenzano, Mayor of Sault Ste. Marie. “It will help ensure the City continues to provide the services our community needs in a safe and responsible manner.”


  • Ontario launched the Social Services Relief Fund in March 2020 to help protect the health and safety of the province’s most vulnerable people during COVID-19.
  • Today’s province-wide investment includes $21 million of funding under the previously announced Canada-Ontario Community Housing Initiative (COCHI) that is being allocated to help support community housing.
  • As part of its Community Housing Renewal Strategy and response to COVID-19, Ontario is investing approximately $1.3 billion in 2021-2022 to help sustain, repair and grow community housing and help end homelessness. This includes the Social Services Relief Fund.