Thursday April 16, 2020

Yesterday the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough and United Way Peterborough and District brought together ten front-line agencies providing food and shelter to our community’s most vulnerable residents to discuss how initial donations to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund could be used to address urgent needs.

With $200,000 donated by individuals and organizations, each agency described how they are responding to COVID-19 and where additional resources are needed. With supports to help “flatten the curve” as the primary objective, the needs are many. Safe shelter for homeless youth and adults; emergency food for those same people in addition to low-income seniors and families; PPE for front-line service workers and the list goes on. Click here to read about the funded services and projects.

The ten agencies receiving funding are Brock Mission, Community Care Peterborough, Community Counselling and Resource Centre (CCRC), Food for Kids (Peterborough Public Health), Kawartha Food Share, One City Peterborough, One Roof Community Centre, PARN – Your Community AIDS Resource Network, Nourish Project (YWCA) and YES Shelter for Youth and Families.

“In a roundtable, the group discussed their initial needs,” said Jennifer DeBues, Director of Administration and Granting at the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough. “After that, they agreed upon how the available funds could be allocated to bolster efforts. It was a very participatory process with lots of information-sharing from the front lines of the pandemic.”

“Getting more people out of shelter, into safer housing, social distancing, et cetera. is good for all of the community,” said Charles Shamess, Executive Director of PARN – Your Community AIDS Resource Network.

“Thank-you to the Community Foundation and United Way for taking the lead on this,” said Christian Harvey, Executive Director of One City Peterborough. “This has been a great process. If you could pass on our thanks to those that donated it would mean so much.”

“The world and our community are faced with a challenge that is simply unparalleled, and our response will define us for a generation,” said Jim Russell, CEO of United Way Peterborough and District. “That response is, and will continue to draw on all that we have as humanity; our creativity, our intelligence, our faith, our entrepreneurship, our love of one another and of our community. The partnership between the United Way and Community Foundation builds on that raw human desire to thrive. We started with a focus on the most vulnerable among us and will seek to respond further as need emerges.”

The United Way and Community Foundation are grateful to partner with donors and help in these uncertain times. In addition to shelter and housing, mental health is emerging as a serious issue in the aftermath of COVID-19. For those living with mental health issues, the strain is already a problem. For many more of us, mental health issues are arising due to the stress of social isolation, financial insecurity and other uncertainties. The next round of COVID-19 Community Response Fund grants will support local charities helping us cope with the mental health challenges facing us today.


For more information, please contact:

Jennifer DeBues
Director, Operations and Granting
Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough