United Way Perth-Huron announces COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund

(Blackburn News file photo)

The United Way Perth-Huron is announcing a COVID-19 “Urgent Needs Fund” to help those most in need due to the coronavirus outbreak.

United Way will partner with organizations that need to expand programming or shift the model of how they provide services. The group will also help ensure that those who need those programs most will continue to get the same service during this difficult time.

“This is a challenging time and people are uncertain,” said UWPH Executive Director Ryan Erb. “We want to make sure everyone in our community is supported and that’s what the COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund aims to do. If you need help, to the best of our ability we want to offer help. If you’d like to support our work with this fund, please visit the UWPH website and click on the ‘Donate Now’ button, go to give.unitedway.ca/donate/WSTRAT or mail in a donation to United Way Perth-Huron at 32 Erie Street, Stratford, N5A 2M4.”

Erb says says their objective is to be able to put money into the hands of organizations that are trying to help people.

“It’s really different to be handling a crisis that we don’t understand. So we’re trying to prepare ourselves, trying to get into a position to make sure that we can help the most vulnerable in our community and one of the ways we can do that is by establishing this fund so that when organizations in our communities need more help, we can provide that help.”

Erb adds, even with the government’s substantial help, some people will fall through the cracks and he says they’ve already seen shelters struggling to keep up.

“We’ve already seen, for example, shelters struggling to have enough food to provide for those who are locked down, and so we’ve been working with organizations to solve those immediate issues, but we know there will be demands upon many social service organizations in our community that are above and beyond what we would normally see.”

The United Way Perth-Huron has created a Facebook page called the Huron-Perth COVID-19 Resource Group, to be used as an information resource for people across the communities in Huron and Perth.