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Community COVID-19 response resource guide for people in need

24 March 2020 No Comment


We hope that everyone is staying healthy and safe during the COVID-19 crisis. While disruptions to businesses and services are unavoidable, assistance is still available for those in need. See below for a list of community resources as well as tips for getting through this difficult time safely — thanks to our partners who helped compile this information. Kindly share this post with people in your networks, and let us know if there’s something that should be added. And remember, please stay home unless absolutely necessary and observe proper social distancing.

Free and/or low-cost meals

Elsewhere in the Lower Mainland and beyond, Victoria and the rest of B.C., call 211 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to find what’s available community-related (toll-free call, but cellphone provider charges may apply). Or, text your city name to 211 to start the conversation/inquiry. Also, you can search 211 online.

child playing with lego

Health and Well-Being Program

A partnership between Connections Community Services, Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada and Air Canada, the Health and Well-Being Program provides emergency health funding for at-risk children and youth in the province. Designed to help bridge the financial gap between government-funded assistance and specialized health care, it can help offset expenses like prescriptions, medical supplies, travel to and from appointments and more. Click here to download the complete details and the referral form.

Physical and mental health support

Richmond Division of Family Practice represents the voice of local physicians and operates the Primary Care Network, a hotline addressing coronavirus concerns in five languages. The Richmond Mental Health Consumer and Friends Society is a non-profit organization offering peer support, social opportunities and a community-based therapeutic recreation program. It is continuing to deliver many of its services over the phone and via Internet streaming — download a digital calendar of upcoming activities along with contact info.

studying on computer

Education and learning

Although brick and mortar libraries are closed, Richmond Public Library is taking activities online. Take part in a reading challenge or family story time, solve an escape room or play a round of dungeons and dragons, all digitally. Looking for tech training? Learn how to code (kids aged eight to 12) or use LinkedIn to find employment.

Harm reduction

Two public health emergencies are currently colliding: the coronavirus and drug poisoning/overdose. To help those struggling with both, the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition has created a harm reduction hub specifically for this particularly vulnerable demographic. Download useful documents, read relevant news and statistics and more.

Economic relief

Several forms of financial assistance are being offered by multiple levels of government and various organizations: The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is one of the big ones giving workers who have lost income due to COVID-19, including self-employed individuals, $2,000 a month for the next four months. North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA Bowinn Ma has posted a summary to her website.

Low-income Richmond residents not eligible for other programs may qualify to receive $200 from the Richmond Homeless/Community Connect relief fund. A referral from a local agency or faith group is required, contact richmondcommunityconnects@gmail.com for additional information.

bc government covid-19 update

Other useful information

Visit the Government of British Columbia website for the official B.C. COVID-19 response update providing the latest stats such as total confirmed cases, broken down by region, as well as advice and measures: for example, Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions stress management tools; WorkSafeBC resources for employers and employees; and BC Housing temporary eviction moratorium and rent adjustment notification.

City of Richmond also has a dedicated page where you catch on recent developments, for example, the flat rate utility bill deferral. Have non-health related questions? There’s somewhere to go for that, too, addressing topics including finances, transportation and travel and tourism.

Self assessment

Before pursuing testing for the coronavirus, use this BC COVID-19 Symptom Self Assessment Tool available on the web and in the Apple App Store or Google Play.

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