Seniors are worried about meeting their basic needs, such as having hot meals delivered to them, being able to get groceries and fill prescriptions, and see their doctors. They are also worried about being socially isolated in their homes due to the pandemic. United Way Winnipeg is working hard to ensure nobody is left behind, and so is the government of Canada.
United Way has been in contact with older adults in Winnipeg, and they have shared with us that some of their most pressing needs include:
- Medication and prescription refills
- Personal hygiene products
- Household cleaning products
- Outreach and social supports
On March 29th, the federal government announced funding in the amount of $9M to be distributed through United Way Canada’s New Horizons Program. Each year, the New Horizon’s Seniors Program helps over 340,000 seniors meet their basic needs and ensure connection to the community through almost 500 senior-specific programs and services.
This funding will support services and supports to isolated seniors in all parts of Canada. This funding is the first step the Government is taking to put in place a program of supports for vulnerable Canadians and charitable sector organizations. This fund will be used to quickly provide necessary resources to local agencies in their efforts to support our most vulnerable isolated seniors with their most urgent needs.
By using United Way Centraide Canada’s existing local capacity, funds from the New Horizons Senior Program will be used to quickly address the most urgent needs of vulnerable citizens, and the capacity of our front-line agencies.
In addition to funding to support New Horizons, the funding will be allocated to community-based organizations not in association with United Way Canada who are serving our community’s most vulnerable seniors. The dollars will ensure organizations right in the community can further help seniors have access to hot meals, help with getting medication and groceries, and other vital services.
United Way Winnipeg is working closely with its donor-supported agency partners and programs and community partners to ensure the needs of our most vulnerable population are filled and support is funneled right to our agency partners including Meals on Wheels, Age and Opportunity Centre, Good Neighbours Active Living Senior Centre, and PluriElle.
Many of the agencies that United Way supports provide wrap around supports for families, including seniors, such as 24 Family Resource Centres across Winnipeg, Jewish Child and Family Services, in addition to newcomer serving organizations such as IRCOM, Welcome Place.
We are still working with the federal government to determine how quickly the funds will be made available to these community organizations to help people in need.
We are working in communities across Canada alongside municipalities, local public health, community agencies and foundations to ensure funds are going to where they are needed most.
We are currently in conversations with United Way Canada to determine how this funding will be spread out through the country and, in particular, in Winnipeg.
For immediate answers on services available to you now, please search for the help you need on 211 Manitoba.