Ontario Providing More Support to Communities during COVID-19

Published on August 16, 2021

News                                                                                                   August 16, 2021


Elmira —The Ontario government is providing an additional $7,988,900 to help the Region of Waterloo deliver critical services, create longer-term housing solutions and keep vulnerable people safe. With today’s announcement, nearly $28 million will have been committed to support the Region through Social Services Relief Funding (SSRF) since March 2020.


“I am happy that our government is once again stepping up to provide much needed support for vulnerable people in Waterloo Region during this global pandemic,” said Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Mike Harris. “This additional funding demonstrates our commitment to work with other levels of government and local organizations to keep our communities safe.”


Today’s announcement is part of the province’s additional $307 million investment to help municipalities and Indigenous community partners respond to COVID-19. This investment builds upon the $765 million dollars of Social Services Relief Funding (SSRF) announced in 2020- 2021, for a total support to communities of over $1 billion.

“Today’s announcement of social services funding is critical to addressing longstanding challenges like homelessness and affordable housing,” said Karen Redman, Chair, Region of Waterloo. “Thank you to the Government of Ontario for their continued work to help local communities, municipalities and service providers recover from the pandemic.”


“Municipalities have been on the frontlines of Ontario’s pandemic response and vaccine rollout, while continuing to protect our most vulnerable populations, including homeless populations,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Our government is committed to ensuring municipalities have the resources they need to keep their communities safe, and today’s funding will help our local partners deliver critical services, support vulnerable people, and unlock affordable housing in their communities.”


Municipalities and Indigenous community partners can use the funding to protect homeless shelter staff and residents, add to rent banks, build affordable housing, and support plans to prepare for potential future outbreaks and/or emergencies.




“Nonprofit agencies across this region work diligently to provide supports and services to our most vulnerable. These agencies, themselves, are somewhat vulnerable due to ongoing and increasing funding needs. Many nonprofits, like oneROOF Youth Services, rely heavily on community donations to continue their efforts. When social service funding is made available to agencies like oneROOF, the value is immeasurable as it means we can focus less on fund raising and out out energies into those who look to us for help.”

- Sandy Dietrich-Bell, CEO, oneROOF Youth Services


"Any provincial funding directed at social services is a welcome investment in our community. We have a growing number of vulnerable individuals and families who need the assistance and support of our local agencies, who have been stretched to the limit these past eighteen months."

- Anne Tinker, Interim Executive Director, Cambridge Shelter Corporation




  • Ontario launched the Social Services Relief Fund in March 2020 to help protect the health and safety of the province’s most vulnerable people during COVID-19.
  • Today’s province-wide investment includes $21 million of funding under the previously announced Canada-Ontario Community Housing Initiative (COCHI) that is being allocated to help support community housing.
  • As part of its Community Housing Renewal Strategy and response to COVID-19, Ontario is investing approximately $1.3 billion in 2021-2022 to help sustain, repair and grow community housing and help end homelessness. This includes the Social Services Relief Fund.




  • Learn more about Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen, a three-step plan to safely and cautiously reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures