Government of Canada announces $9M for vulnerable seniors funding to United Way Centraide Canada

United Way Centraide Canada welcomes the Government of Canada’s $9M funding announcement from the New Horizons for Seniors Program. Canadian seniors are at great risk of poor health outcomes due to the ongoing COVID19 pandemic. Vulnerable seniors, such as those living in social isolation or poverty, are at even greater risk.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis affecting all Canadians and putting many at risk due to increased isolation and economic uncertainty, both of which impact low-income Canadians more acutely. Demands on community support programs are growing rapidly and placing major demands on our front-line community services. Significant challenges are emerging as front-line staff work to adapt and deliver services while practicing social distancing. This is happening at a time when the number of volunteers for outreach programs are diminishing, and donations and other revenues for all charities are declining.

“In this time of unprecedented global crisis, it is critical that all sectors of society work together to support the most vulnerable in our local communities. Not only are seniors at higher risk, but they are also much more likely to be affected by the increased social isolation required during this time. Through this partnership with the Government of Canada, we will be able to quickly deploy funds to social service providers who are on the front lines of community serving vulnerable seniors and ensure they can be supported through this challenging time.”

– Dan Clement, President and CEO, United Way Centraide Canada

 Help is on the way.

Seniors concerned about being cut off from their support systems, getting groceries, or filling their prescriptions will benefit from service continuity and enhanced service through the New Horizons for Seniors Program, ensuring they have the supports they need. This funding will support services and supports for isolated seniors in all parts of Canada, including rural and remote communities.

This investment leverages United Way Centraide’s existing local capacity to quickly address vulnerable seniors’ most urgent needs by solidifying the capacity of the front-line agencies that serve them. To do that, United Way Centraides across Canada will work alongside municipalities, local public health, community agencies and foundations to ensure funds are going to where they are needed most. Our national network, serving more than 5,000 communities, has standing funding relationships and practices, ensuring funds are distributed efficiently and with the highest accountability. This will ensure rapid and flexible response on a community basis.

This funding is the first step the Government is taking to put in place a program of supports for vulnerable Canadians and charitable sector organizations.

The New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) supports the Government of Canada’s overarching social goals to enhance the quality of life, and promote the full participation of individuals, including seniors, in all aspects of Canadian society.

Quick Facts

  • If infected by COVID-19, Canadians aged 65 and over, and those of all ages with compromised immune systems or underlying medical conditions, are at an increased risk of more severe outcomes.
  • Canadians who experience symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home and call the public health authority in their province or territory to inform them and obtain advice on what they should do.
  • United Way Centraide Canada (UWCC) is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that serves to improve people’s lives and build strong communities across Canada. One stream of the organization’s work is to promote the healthy aging of Canada’s older adults.
  • UWCC is the largest funder of community-based services in Canada outside of government. Each year United Way Centraide supports seniors through a network of almost 500 seniors’ specific programs and services across the country.