The Comox Valley Regional Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has approved $55,000 in funding to help community organizations deliver services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Comox Valley Regional District was awarded grant funds in November from the Province to assist operations impacted by COVID-19. Through the EOC, outreach was conducted to identify community needs and priorities, with specific attention on vulnerable populations’ most basic needs including emergency housing and access to basic facilities. The recommendation and assignment of funds was presented to the EOC representatives and approved Feb. 18 for distribution to the following groups:
•Care-a-Van has had a 500 per cent increase in people using the service since the start of the pandemic. It will receive $10,000 to continue to provide nutritional supports, water, hygiene products, and clothing within the community.
•Connect Warming Centre has had a significant increase in demand for services since last year. $25,000 will be used towards providing personal protective equipment, supporting increased sanitation and cleaning requirements, and providing hot meals, survival gear as well as living supports to residents.
•Hornby Island Athletic Association is the only community facility on Hornby Island that provides a safe place to wash and have a meal. $20,000 will ensure the hot meal program continues, shower facilities updates are completed, and increased cleaning supplies and requirements are adhered to.
“The pandemic has been hard on all of us, but for those without a safe and stable home of their own, it has exacerbated many of the challenges they already faced in their daily lives,” said CVRD board chair and EOC spokesperson Jesse Ketler. “A warm meal and shower, safe place to sleep, clean clothes and proper sanitation are essentials many of us take for granted. These necessities of life have been highlighted even more during the pandemic, and we are thrilled to be able to help support local community organizations who day in and day out are helping deliver these services to our residents.”
Residents are encouraged to follow the CVRD social media channels @comoxvalleyrd on Facebook and Twitter, and to visit www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/covid19 to remain up to date on accurate information. All Comox Valley local governments are centralizing regional COVID-19 information through these channels.
The EOC is standing by to support the lead agencies, Ministry of Health and Island Health, if requested at the federal and provincial level. The Emergency Operations team with representatives from the CVRD, City of Courtenay, K’ómoks First Nation, Town of Comox, Village of Cumberland, and other external agencies and organizations are working together to collaborate on response measures and best practices for the region.