Covid-19 Response and Resources
Important information and updates from the Southern Gulf Islands Community Resource Centre
The Southern Gulf Islands Community Resource Centre Society (SGICRC) continues to adapt its existing service delivery and programming to meet the ongoing COVID reality. Our Islands’ vulnerable populations have been the hardest hit during this pandemic and the SGICRC COVID service changes have been working in two prominent areas of importance to the Islands – mental health and food security. It is apparent that the demand for our services is increasing.
Building on the success of the SGICRC’s food assistance programs, well-being and helpline, emphasis for the winter months includes collaborations with each of the Island’s local volunteer organizations such as the food banks, community hall and local support groups.
As we are all well aware, residents on the Southern Gulf Islands live in relative isolation throughout the winter and during COVID living on the Islands has become even more isolated. For the Islands vulnerable populations seniors, people with disabilities and low-income families, many without transportation, much of their time is spent trying to make ends meet. Many low-income housing options are not in the best condition and windstorms just add to the debilitation families and seniors’ encounter, especially during the many power outages. Stores often close and no one can move. Social isolation can be stifling.
The economics of Island life can be very tricky. Everything costs more, because it has to be shipped in, including food, fuel and workers like plumbers, whose bills include travel time. Life is dictated by the weather and the ferry. With an economy largely dependent on a now limited tourism season there is a continuous struggle and inadequate income has become a driver pushing local families and seniors below the poverty line. There are more households with kids needing extra support during this pandemic.
Working on all four Islands, the SGICRC has been able to help Islanders, though Red Cross COVID funding, CRD Funding and Provincial and Federal Funding with not only online and distanced activities such friendly calls but hot meals, and grocery and produce deliveries. The SGICRC’s efforts and much help by a wonderful group of volunteers have effectively reached out and addressed local seniors, people with disabilities and low-income families during this crucial time.
It is anticipated that the original reach of 3000 residents will be increased by up to 35% – 800 to 100 more people during these winter months. With a committed volunteer cache of 81 people to deliver services food security, well-being programs and needs can be met to the best of the CRC’s ability.
The SGICRC ensures at all times that COVID safety measures are in place and that all Staff and volunteers are working at an acceptable social distance in all four of the Gulf Islands at all locations.
When it was clear that Covid-19 was going to disrupt our daily life and our economic health in an ongoing way, the Community Resource Centre created a survey to understand the situation that businesses and not-for-profits are experiencing
click here to see how Covid-19 has affected us