< Priorities | COVID-19 Emergency Response
COVID-19 Emergency Response

COVID-19 discriminates. It’s not, as some say, the great equalizer. It lays bare existing inequalities and the cruelty of our economic system. Unable to “go home and stay home,” many Indigenous and racialized people are living — and still working — in impossible conditions. 

We stand with those who believe that no one is safe until everyone is safe. We’re a collaborator in advocating for public policies and programs that benefit everyone. We’re a supporter of persistent community organizers who amplify the voices of people most affected by this crisis, and keep them connected to each other. We’re also a contributor to organizations trusted to reach those who fall through holes in public and charitable safety nets. 

Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve worked with eleven organizations that serve Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities to get new financial resources out quickly three times.

Black Creek Community Health Centre for a team of Black and racialized youth to provide meal delivery to seniors and conduct peer education on COVID-19, including distributing PPE and other emergency support. These young people will receive financial reimbursement for this work.

CEE Young Black Professionals for Black youth who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and need access to groceries and personal items.

Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada for Black and Indigenous youth who have aged out of the child welfare system and who need emergency support for housing costs, food and other personal care supplies and technology support for e-learning as a result of COVID-19.

FoodShare for people and workers, including 500 couriers who lost their jobs following Foodora’s announcement that it was ending operations in Canada, who need access to good food. 

Native Canadian Centre of Toronto and Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council for urban Indigenous families who are among the hardest hit by economic disruptions and need basic services like food and housing. 

North Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre and the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres for Indigenous families outside Toronto who need food, personal care supplies, transportation subsidies, and other basic supports to manage during the crisis.

Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants for precariously employed workers who are susceptible to exploitation or stuck in unsafe conditions.

Ontario Employment Education and Research Centre for upgrades to the organization’s IT infrastructure to support remote work and digital organizing as well as to improve existing office space that complies with new public health requirements and enables the involvement of precarious and low-wage workers in the fight for decent work.

Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre and the Nail Technicians’ Network for nail technicians who are facing economic hardship as a result of COVID-19 and need emergency relief and support.

Restoration and Empowerment for Social Transition for Black youth who have aged out of the child welfare system to access an emergency food program and a crisis hotline to access information on income support, housing and other emergency measures, and to maintain social connections during periods of isolation.

Rexdale Community Health Centre for area residents, particularly those from Black, racialized and immigrant communities, who need emergency support for housing costs, food and other personal care supplies as a result of COVID-19.

The  Vancouver Foundation and its partners Vancity, the United Way of the Lower Mainland, and the City of Vancouver have inspired us to tell the world who we’re holding in our hearts at this time.

“The unprecedented challenge of COVID-19 has created an historical moment for extraordinary caring and exceptional unity,” they say. “It makes our hearts full to do our part. We invite you to join us. So go ahead — and share what’s in your heart today.”

Look for #InOurHearts and #DoingOurPart in social media and elsewhere. You’ll find our response there. Now it’s your turn. Who’s work inspires you? Who are you carrying in your heart right now? How are you doing your part?