Coalition of Community Houses receives emergency funding for work in OCH communities
The Coalition of Community Houses, which provides valuable programming in 15 Ottawa Community Housing communities, is focusing on food distribution to families in need during the COVID–19 pandemic.
The Coalition has received emergency funds from Ottawa Community Foundation’s Rapid Response Fund. These funds will help the Community Houses continue to support OCH neighbourhoods by distributing food supplies and connecting with residents.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, Community Houses have had to modify their service delivery. In-house programs and drop-in services have been postponed, replaced with phone intakes, appointments and support. Other COVID–19 prevention measures have been put in place to protect front-line staff and limit the risk to residents.
As part of these prevention measures, Community House staff have assumed roles that have always been performed by volunteers. Many Coalition volunteers are older, and more likely to have serious complications if they contract the virus. With that in mind, the Coalition has asked volunteers to stay home and continue to be creative with their resources.
Making sure residents who are in need have access to healthy food quickly became a priority. But, the overall mental health of Community House clients is also a priority. Their advice is “don’t be afraid to reach out!” Community House staff will be continuing to offer information, referral and support services by phone.
Ensuring trusted Community House staff can provide this service to their community is going to become more and more crucial as the weeks go on.
In 2019, more than 17,500 individuals connected with Community House programs and support services. In addition, 13,000 individuals accessed Community House food banks.