$3.2M already allocated to 239 agencies

April 10, 2020 •  By Cristina Roque

Centraide of Greater Montreal: $3.2M already allocated to help 239 agencies cope with the crisis

Montreal, April 10, 2020 — Since the launch of its COVID-19 Emergency Fund on March 25, Centraide of Greater Montreal has been helping front-line community agencies cope with the crisis by giving them resources and tools to take quick action on the ground to support vulnerable people. 

Centraide is constantly working to meet growing needs that are unprecedented and has sped up the fund disbursement process to handle funding requests from agencies as soon as possible while validating their relevance and avoiding duplicates. 

Existing or adapted services supported by the fund must come from agencies that are currently accredited by an official body (provincial ministry, RMC, city, public health body, etc.) or by Centraide of Greater Montreal. The requested money must go toward supporting basic necessities (food distribution, preparation and distribution of meals and baskets, etc.) or reinforcing listening and assistance services for vulnerable people, such as seniors, people with mental health problems, the homeless, and family caregivers. 

No fewer than 430 requests from agencies have been received so far, and 239 have been approved for a total of $3.2M in allocations that continue to grow.

Profile of current major needs 

Thanks to the Emergency Fund, agencies are finding new ways to respond to growing requests for help in these circumstances. To get food to people at home, the food chain has had to be reconfigured. Some agencies have replaced their collective cooking routines with frozen meal activities for home deliveries. Others have set up new call services for isolated seniors. Isolation, anxiety, and job losses mean that listening and assistance services for vulnerable people are experiencing high volumes.

For example, the 211 referral service for people who need support is currently receiving four times more calls than usual. Requests for food assistance, and particularly home deliveries, are still the main reason that people call. People are also calling about health, housing and emergency shelters, as well as employment and income. The 211 service is available in the 82 municipalities of the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM), which represents half of Quebec’s population. It also serves the Quebec City region.

“The health crisis from the COVID-19 pandemic has upended Montrealers’ daily lives, yet it has also given rise to a wave of solidarity that is incredibly inspiring. Thanks to Centraide’s work and expertise, an Emergency Fund was set up quickly and has already allocated significant funding to agencies that help the most vulnerable members of our society. The city of Montréal and its boroughs are proud of our $1.32M contribution to the fund, and we thank all donors who continue to support Centraide. Together, we can make sure no one is left behind,” stated Montréal Mayor Valérie Plante.

“The 211 line does essential work. In addition to supporting disadvantaged people, it helps us identify service gaps that need to be filled quickly. Needs are great, and our agencies are on the ground to meet them with their usual commitment and capability. To date, $7M has been raised for the Emergency Fund. We thank our generous donors for allowing us to support agencies that provide essential services to meet the needs of our neighbourhoods, towns and cities and quickly help people who are experiencing hardship,” said Lili-Anna PerešaPresident and Executive Director of Centraide of Greater Montreal

Centraide of Greater Montreal is also working closely with Laval, Montérégie, cities, provincial ministrieselected officials, the Moisson food banks, volunteer bureaus, and other foundations to define actions to support the community network.

Residents of Montreal, Laval and the South Shore who are financially able to contribute can make donations to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund by going to Centraide of Greater Montreal’s website at centraide-mtl.org or by texting COVID to 80100.

Centraide of Greater Montreal is active in the territories of Laval, Montreal and the South Shore. Vulnerable people who don’t know where to turn for help can call 211 or visit 211.qc.ca for referrals to the best resources for their needs. For more information, visit centraide-mtl.org, follow us on social media (FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn) or subscribe to our newsletter.