Community COVID-19 response resource guide for people in need


We hope that everyone is staying healthy and safe amidst 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 and tips for navigating these difficult times safely — thanks to our partners who contributed this information. Kindly share with 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. Or, go online.

In addition, 211 connects self-isolating seniors over 65 to a volunteer who can help perform phone or virtual check-ins, grocery shopping and delivery, meal preparation and delivery and prescription pickup and drop-off.

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 bridge the financial gap between government-funded assistance and specialized health care, it can 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.

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.

As we all know personal protective equipment (PPE) is in short supply right now, which is why artist and costume designer Marina Szijarto has put together instructions on how to make masks at home using simple materials.

studying on computer

Harm reduction

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

Economic relief and employment

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 granting workers who have lost income due to COVID-19, including the self-employed, $2,000 a month for the next four months. A summary is posted on North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA Bowinn Ma’s website.

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

To aid people looking for either short or long-term employment, connects prospective workers to non-profit housing and shelter providers seeking staffing in areas ranging from meal prep to carpentry.

Whether you’re a single parent, new immigrant, student, senior or somewhere in-between, Family Services of Greater Vancouver is giving free one-one-one online financial coaching to help individuals develop a budget or debt management plan.

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 up on recent developments, like the flat rate utility bill deferral, and a guide specific to the homeless population. The city, together wth other organizations, has established temporary child care for essential service workers. 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, try this BC COVID-19 Symptom Self Assessment Tool available on the web and in the Apple App Store or Google Play.