5 Ways Cities Reducing Poverty Members are Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis

Posted on April 20, 2020
By Natasha Pei


Cities Reducing Poverty collaboratives have worked for years to build local relationships that  support residents and neighbourhoods to thrive. These efforts have strengthened the social infrastructure communities need to be resilient and quickly organize in an emergency situation, such as COVID-19.

While the specific response varies greatly across communities in Canada, many of our members have found their roles shifting from helping residents thrive to helping them survive. As such, the primary focus has been on: food security, safe shelter that allows for social distancing, health information, mental health support, income security, and transportation. Here are some of the primary ways in which they are responding:

  1. Coordinating and information-sharing – Organizing and/or informing the response of the non-profit sector, to ensure clients continue accessing services as best as possible, as well as adapting and enhancing services to accommodate newly vulnerable residents in the community. Examples include:
  1. Connections – Supporting vulnerable populations during isolation to keep connected with social supports – friends, family, neighbours and service providers. Examples include:
  1. FundingLocal United Ways are setting up emergency funds and municipal and provincial governments are diverting funds to initiatives that urgently need support to enhance or adapt their operations. Examples include:
  2. Access to Income – Helping people gain access to emergency financial benefits through information-sharing and tax filing.
  1. Advocacy - Identifying gaps in policies and supports and using available channels to advocate to higher levels of government for policy changes. Examples include:

Are you or your organization supporting vulnerable populations in response to COVID-19? Share your own ideas and experiences in the comment section below.

Community Building, Cities Reducing Poverty, Blog

Natasha Pei

By Natasha Pei

Natasha Pei brings online content to life and engages our members in the Vibrant Communities learning centre for poverty reduction. Natasha's involvement with Tamarack began with the Communities First: Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE) project, where she worked as a Research Assistant in the Poverty Reduction Hub, studying effective ways community-campus engagement can be undertaken to have real benefits for the community.

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