We know this year has unique challenges, but that makes our work as a United Way even more important.
Together, $354,000 of the Social Service Relief Fund has been allocated to support food security.
Together, we ensured over 1600 children received back-to-school gift cards to purchase school supplies.
Together, we subsidized transportation for seniors and people with disabilities, which provided the freedom to go on grocery runs or receive grocery deliveries free of charge.
Together, we expanded the operational hours of a local soup kitchen from 2 days a week to 6 days a week, and helped scale their operation.
Together, we coordinated volunteers to check in weekly on the homeless and provided the men with food and toiletries on an individual basis.
Together, we synchronized teams of volunteers distributing emergency food relief to those living without a permanent address throughout CK.
Together, we collaborated with community agencies and organizations, to provide “basket of goods” to vulnerable residents.
On-Call COVID Relief
It all started with a call from CK Public Health, “How can we help those in quarantine?”
With help from NeighbourLink, the United Way of Chatham-Kent Team became the point person for vulnerable households with confirmed COVID cases needing help accessing groceries or supplies.
From spring to early fall, our volunteers were delivering 1-2 calls a week. As the province saw an increase of confirmed COVID cases, we too saw an increase. The United Way’s team is now fielding 8-9 calls a week for emergency deliveries.
“It is devastating for people living with COVID. People are relieved when we show up with a delivery. Many are finding their friends & family are afraid to help them in fear of contracting COVID too. Simple tasks like picking up cat food now seem impossible. I’m happy to be a phone call away to help.”
~ United Way Volunteer
Helping our community’s Migrant Workers
Having access to culturally appropriate food is something few people consider. When United Way of Chatham-Kent got the call to help local migrant workers, this need was top of mind.
By working together, United Way of Chatham-Kent and United Way of Windsor-Essex, were able to quickly dispatch food, protective equipment and cleaning supplies to this area’s migrant worker population as they were in quarantine.
“We met a migrant worker who lived with a group of workers who contracted COVID, he was afraid that he would be sent home for being sick. United Way was a name he recognized (& trusted) which allowed us the ability to help the workers & peace of mind that they would not be deported in the middle of a pandemic. ”
~ United Way Volunteer
The Situational Tables & the Co-Investors Table
Since April, the collective efforts of the community are meeting weekly to discuss the top concerns happening within Chatham-Kent and for the clients they serve. With this information, the Co-Investors Table, are make informed decisions on how/where donor dollars and government funding (such as the Social Service Relief Fund) can best address the emergency response; while ensuring there is social distancing support to continue social service programing throughout the community.
Areas of focus include: Mental Health, Indigenous Persons, Homelessness, Poverty, Child & Partner Violence, and Vulnerable Youth.
“By working together, we can ensure that forgotten areas in our community are not left behind and we are better prepared for the community’s rapidly emerging needs.”
~Steve Pratt, CEO
United Way of Chatham-Kent