The Kenora District Services Board (KDSB) has received $2,030,914 from the provincial government through the Social Services Relief Fund.
The additional funding was announced as part of a $255 million investment by the province to help municipalities and Indigenous program partners respond to an increase in COVID-19 in some emergency shelters and help keep vulnerable people safe.
"The new funding will protect homeless shelter staff and residents and help prevent people from becoming homeless," said Greg Rickford, MPP for Kenora–Rainy River, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs.
Provincial service managers and Indigenous program partners can use the funding to acquire motel and hotel spaces to support physical distancing of shelter residents, hire more shelter staff, purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies, and add to rent and utility banks to prevent more people from becoming homeless.
'This is about ensuring that our entire communities across the district of Kenora, have access to supports and can get through this pandemic the best we can," said Henry Wall, Chief Administrative Officer for the KDSB and Co-chair for the All Nations Health Partners.
The Rainy River District Services Administration Board will also be receiving $500,000 in support.
At this time, there is no evidence that COVID-19 is spreading through the homeless population or shelters in the Kenora area. Toronto and Thunder Bay have both felt the impact of COVID-19 spreading amoung the vulnerable homeless population in recent months.
Under the Social Services Relief Fund, Ontario has provided $765 million to help service managers and Indigenous program partners support shelters, create longer-term housing solutions and help vulnerable Ontarians affected by COVID-19, including those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.