United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island (UWCNVI) is set to invest Federal funding through the COVID-19 Seniors Response Fund to help those aged 55 and over impacted by the pandemic.

UWCNVI has received Federal funding to invest in local service agencies who provide immediate essential services for seniors impacted by COVID-19. This support will be distributed through grants of up to $5000 to local charitable organizations from the Malahat to Port Hardy. The COVID-19 Seniors Response Fund is funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.

“Our seniors are at great risk of poor health outcomes due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those living in social isolation or poverty,” says Signy Madden, Executive Director, United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island. “We are grateful to invest this Federal funding to further support our service agencies that are already working tirelessly to keep our seniors safe. Through our ongoing communications with local service agencies, all levels of governments, coalitions and individuals, we are wellpositioned to quickly respond to the immediate needs of our community.

Individual non-profit organizations or multi-agency collaborations who are working to meet the needs of seniors in response to COVID-19 within the Central & Northern Vancouver Island region are invited to apply. The application form, process and further details can be found at uwcnvi.ca. The application process will be open April 30, 2020, and close at 12:00 pm noon on May 11, 2020. Applications will not be accepted after this time to ensure the funding gets distributed in a timely matter.

“While physical distancing is essential to protecting seniors from COVID-19, it risks isolating them from their community. That is why the Government of Canada is proud to work with United Way Canada to help support the needs of seniors during this difficult time,” says the Honorable Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors, Government of Canada. “By using local expertise, this funding will help provide support tailored to the unique, local needs of seniors across the country. As we work together to flatten the curve and slow the spread of the virus, the government is supporting Canadians every step of the way.”

Additional funding coming to our communities through United Way:
• Government of Canada announced $350M for Canadians in need. The United Way Central &          Northern Vancouver Island region will receive a portion of these funds to support local agencies, the amount and allocation are yet to be determined.
• United Way’s Better at Home program in partnership with UWCNVI, United Way Lower Mainland, bc211 and the B.C. Government through the Ministry of Health launched the Safe Seniors, Strong Communities program to help isolated seniors stay connected and cared for during  COVID-19.
• UWCNVI launched a fundraising appeal to rally support for the underserved populations during the COVID-19 crisis, Local Love in a Global Crisis Fund. A new website uwcnvi.ca/covid-19 provides information and resources, and invites people to donate to support those most in need through the fund.

Nicole Benson

Director of Communications, United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island