MINDEMOYA – Manitoulin Family Resources (MFR) has received significant funding from the Government of Ontario that will be used to make major improvements to its operations in its violence against women and food security programs.
“This is great news,” said Marnie Hall, executive director of MFR, in response to the funding announcement. “The work has been done in stages, continues and continues. Work is underway. »
The Ontario government is providing funding that will be an important investment in the well-being of the vulnerable population of the Manitoulin-LaCloche region. With the support of the Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board, MFR received just over $1 million to enable significant improvements to its operations. Funding is provided by the provincial government through the Social Services Relief Fund (SSRF), which aims to support a range of vulnerable populations, including low-income people, those in need of support social services and those who need access to housing.
“Throughout the pandemic, our local partners have consistently stepped up their efforts to protect public health and safety, while continuing to provide local services that some of our most vulnerable Ontarians rely on every day,” said the Minister. Honorable Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. (MMAH). “Through the Social Services Relief Fund, our government continues to stand with our local partners to ensure they have the flexible supports they need to provide safety, shelter and health. health of every member of our communities.
Funding approved for the MFR includes capital funds to support the renovation of the Residential Violence Against Women Shelter to accommodate required physical distancing, required expansion of the isolation and quarantine area, and conversion of office space into bedrooms and bathrooms. Such changes will allow each woman or family staying at the shelter to have their own bedroom and bathroom, in line with a public health best practice recommendation, while bringing the shelter back to its pre- pandemic.
Capital is also being provided to establish a new food bank and thrift store, twice the size of the old agency building, to meet community needs to provide this service in a COVID-safe environment. The agency had to close the community thrift store at the start of the pandemic and due to the lack of space for physical distancing, as well as the significant increase in food bank use, had to keep the store closed throughout the pandemic. The joint operation of the food bank and thrift store has been a long-standing source of inexpensive household items and clothing for much of the local community, including those who use the food bank or shelter for women. The larger building will meet the physical distancing, air circulation, and disinfection/health and safety needs of building participants while also meeting the larger physical space needs of a growing food bank.
With the funding, MFR will be able to purchase a van to assist the food bank and thrift store while enabling the delivery of needed household items, clothing and food to the communities served by the agency’s operations, or by coordination with other centers in the district.
And the capital funds will help expand and convert the agency’s current food bank building into a hub for community services. This space will allow clients to participate in agency programs and workshops, safely meet a variety of workers in a COVID-safe manner, and return to in-person services that have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 requirements. COVID-19 and the renovation of the shelter. .
All work is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.