Ontario Helps Protect Vulnerable People During COVID-19

 Durham Region MPPs announce more Social Services Relief Funding for the Region of Durham 

 December 14, 2020 

Durham—Today, Rod Phillips, MPP for Ajax, Lindsey Park, MPP for Durham, Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge, Lorne Coe, MPP for Whitby, Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, and David Piccini, MPP for Northumberland-Peterborough North announced that the Region of Durham will receive an additional $4,700,000 new Social Services Relief Funding (SSRF). The discretionary funding can be used to improve the delivery of critical services, protect homeless shelter staff and residents, renovate and purchase shelter facilities, add to rent banks, create longer-term housing solutions and support plans to prepare for potential future outbreaks and/or emergencies. 

“We know that COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of having a place to call home, and this additional funding in the Region of Durham will help ensure everyone can find – and keep – a safe and secure roof over their head.” said Lorne Coe, MPP for Whitby and Chief Government Whip. 

“This investment helps the most vulnerable within Pickering-Uxbridge and across the Durham Region, including those experiencing or are at risk of homelessness,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge. “As the public health situation continues to evolve, we are ensuring municipalities are equipped with the tools they need to face their most pressing social, economic and financial challenges.” 

“We are supporting Durham Region’s efforts to provide shelter to those most in need,” said Lindsey Park, Member of Provincial Parliament.” This $4,700,000 in new Social Services Relief Funding will help our most vulnerable as we all work together to continue to fight the pandemic.” 

“This additional funding is yet another testament to the strong partnership between Durham Region and the Province. Together we are committed to the continued investment in shelter programs that promote public health guidelines, and in programs that prevent homelessness through innovative housing solutions; especially during this time of economic uncertainty,” said John Henry, Regional Chair and CEO of the Region of Durham. “This funding will offer direct support for our most vulnerable residents, who 

are in need now more than ever. Through our continued partnership with the Province, we will continue working towards our goal of ending homelessness by 2024.” 

The Ontario Government is allocating an additional $120 million across the Province to help municipalities and Indigenous community partners protect vulnerable people during COVID-19. This investment builds upon the second phase of Social Services Relief Funding announced this fall. 

“Our partners are doing critical work right now to help the most vulnerable Ontarians in our community during these difficult times,” said David Piccini, MPP for Northumberland-Peterborough South. “These provincial funds help ensure we respond quickly to local needs, to protect and serve our most vulnerable populations, and support long-term measures that will boost our collaborative and coordinated response to homelessness.” 

“Our Government continues to actively work to help keep vulnerable community members stay safe and respond to the changing needs presented by COVID-19,” said Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton- Kawartha Lakes- Brock. “This additional funding will help support services used by vulnerable community members in Durham Region and Brock Township.” 

Today’s announcement is part of the Government’s $510 million investment through the Social Services Relief Fund to help protect the health and safety of vulnerable people across the Province. 

“These funds are crucial to ensure that our homeless or those at risk of homelessness have a safe place to stay, especial during these unprecedented times”, said Rod Phillips, Ajax MPP. “The Government’s commitment to deliver critical services and create longer-term housing solutions cross Ajax and Durham will serve to help protect the health and safety of vulnerable people across the Province.” 

“Our Government continues to respond to the pandemic with significant investments for our municipal and Indigenous partners,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “As the public health situation continues to evolve, we are providing more support, so our partners are in a better position to protect those who need it most.” 


  • In March, Ontario launched the Social Services Relief Fund with an initial allocation of $148 million to help protect the health and safety of vulnerable people during COVID-19. 
  • In October, over $241 million was allocated to municipalities and Indigenous community partners to help improve shelters and create opportunities for longer-term housing. 



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