Funding announced for social services

WELLINGTON COUNTY – Local social service agencies will receive over $1.9 million in relief funding from the Ontario government, Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece has announced.

Across Ontario, over $241 million is being provided to help protect the most vulnerable, including those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, states an Oct. 26 press release from Pettapiece’s office.

Through the second phase of the Social Services Relief Fund, the County of Wellington will receive $1,995,667.

The City of Stratford, which manages social service agencies in Perth County, will receive $721,621.

“COVID-19 has significantly increased demand for services in Perth-Wellington,” Pettapiece said.

“This investment is urgently needed to help providers continue their excellent work to support those who need our help.”

Pettapiece added, “Poverty and homelessness are not limited to the big cities. It’s an issue across rural and urban parts of our province.”

This funding is part of the government’s $510 million allocation to help protect the health and safety of the province’s most vulnerable.

Funding will be delivered through the Social Services Relief Fund and will go towards protecting and supporting homeless shelter staff and residents; creating or renovating over 1,500 housing units; expanding rent support programs; and creating longer-term housing solutions.

“We know that our municipal and Indigenous partners are facing extraordinary challenges, which is why these significant investments are so important,” said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark. “Our investments are helping to build longer term solutions as well as meet ongoing, immediate needs related to COVID-19.”

The Social Services Relief Fund is part of up to $4 billion being provided to Ontario municipalities under the federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement.

Officials say it will help municipalities protect people while delivering critical public services as the province continues down the path of economic recovery.