The pandemic has revealed inequities. We need your help to address them. - West Neighbourhood House

Miranda Bavdaz receives a Meals on Wheels delivery at her Toronto home, on Monday November 9, 2020. Photo: West Neighbourhood House/Chris Young

Meals on Wheels is a program that addresses inequity in the form of food insecurity and isolation. The need for this service has increased in the past year. It’s just one way that West Neighbourhood House addresses inequity in the time of COVID-19.

An unprecedented — and unequal — crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been easy for anyone. For some, it has meant transitioning to working from home and struggling to find ways to stay active and connected to loved ones far away. Families have been stretched to the limits of their energy and creativity as children have been in online schooling for an extended period. 

But for many of the people we serve at West Neighbourhood House, the pandemic has meant more than just a lifestyle adjustment. The impact of COVID-19 has been fundamentally unequal across our society. It has laid bare the deep, systemic inequities in Toronto and across the country.

Head-on, West Neighbourhood House addresses the multiple, overlapping barriers people face: poverty, the digital divide, illiteracy, inadequate housing, discrimination, and language barriers by providing services in people’s own homes and virtually.

How we’re working against COVID-19’s unfair impact

Our Women’s Empowerment program is responding to the surge of gender-based violence taking place during months-long stay-at-home orders. Our Meeting Place team is advocating for access to basic housing, dignity and supports for people living in encampments. Our Home Support programs keep seniors safe and well in their homes throughout the pandemic, helping to preserve capacity in our hospitals and reduce the burden on a long-term care system in crisis.

Our Financial Empowerment and Problem-Solving program is working with vulnerable and low-income people who have been thrown into financial uncertainty during COVID-19. We help them sort out complicated tax and money matters using a fear-free, no-judgment approach.

We are reckoning with our own anti-Black racism and demanding change to radically reform policing and reduce police violence. We’re working with seniors to help address the digital divide that has become ever more present in our lives in the time of COVID-19. And we’re just getting started.

We need your help to address inequities and grow this work.

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