Due to the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic, the Edmonton Social Planning Council (ESPC) is taking precautionary measures to do our part in slowing the spread of the disease.
The ESPC physical office will be closed effective March 16, 2020, until further notice. We will continue to work and serve our community and clients remotely. All of us at ESPC have the necessary resources to work remotely with little disruption to our scheduled project deliverables.
Please note that by working remotely, emails will be answered, but phone calls may take longer to respond too. We would recommend email or our website contact form as the quickest way to connect with us.
Additionally, all in-person ESPC events and meetings have been cancelled. We will be monitoring the situation and decide soon on the status of our Annual General Meeting and the scope of our 80th Anniversary celebrations.
The links below are intended to provide everyone with access to important resources. We will continue to update the links as we become aware of new ones or changes to the existing ones. Please note that because this is a rapidly changing issue, some links may become obsolete or will be replaced with newer programs.
The resources listed cover a wide range of topics for a broad section of our population. The intent is to inform as many people as possible and help them understand their options, available support, and tools to continue isolating, social distance, remain in quarantine, or access health care support.
Click on the boxes below to reveal details about the specific programs:
If you have symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sore throat or runny nose:
- You MUST self-isolate for 10 days after the onset of symptoms and until your symptoms have resolved (whichever is longer).
- If your symptoms worsen, call 811 or take this self-assessment again. We are experiencing heavy call volumes and will get to your call as quickly as we can.
- Please do not visit a hospital, physician’s office, lab or healthcare facility without consulting Health Link (811) first.
- Call 911 if you are seriously ill and need immediate medical attention. Inform them of your symptoms.
If you have been in close contact with a known case in the last 14 days:
For people with NO travel history and if you have NO symptoms:
To protect yourself and others while out in public, wash your hands frequently and practice social distancing by maintaining 6 feet (2 arms lengths) between yourself and others.
If you have questions about COVID-19 or novel coronavirus, please visit the following resources:
- Alberta.ca/COVID19 – Learn about COVID-19 and actions being taken to protect the health of Albertans
- AHS COVID-19 Response – Information for Albertans and Health Professionals
- Frequently Asked Questions
Do the right thing to stop the spread: Protect your loved ones by practicing social distancing. We all have a role to play!
Federal/National Resources and Programs
Corona Support - Determining Eligibility
To determine eligibility for federal programs, this survey will direct you to benefits individuals may be entitled to receive.
COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad
This program will provide the option of an emergency repayable loan to Canadians in need of immediate financial assistance to return home or to temporarily cover their life-sustaining needs while they work toward their return. Each application will be assessed according to their specific situation and needs.
Canada Child Benefit
Parents of children between the age of 0 and 18 years of age will temporarily receive an extra $300 per child through the existing Canada Child Benefit, which is paid once per month. This increase will take effect in May 2020. Those who already receive the Canada Child Benefit do not need to re-apply.
Support for Canadians with Disabilities
A one-time tax-free payment of $600 to Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate will be given.
$300 will be given to Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and are eligible for the Old Age Security pension.
$100 will be given to Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and are eligible for the Old Age Security pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement.
Old Age Security & Guaranteed Income Supplement
The one-time increase is intended to address concerns with rising costs in medications, grocieries, and other living expenses.
Special GST Tax Credit Payment
A one-time special payment by early May through the Good and Services Tax (GST) credit will be given to low- and modest-income families. The average benefit will be close to $400 for individuals and close to $600 for couples. Those who qualify will receive it automatically.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit
The newly announced Canada Emergency Response Benefit* will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to workers facing unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This benefit will be given to workers who must stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support; those who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19; working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures; workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is no work available; wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.
This benefit will be accessible via a secure web portal on April 6th with payments starting 10 days afterward.
*Note: This benefit replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.
The one-week waiting period for new Employment Insurance (EI) sickness recipients will be waived for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. They will not have to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.
A dedicated phone line has been set up for those whose employment has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic due to illness, injury, or quarantine. The number is 1-833-381-2725.
The EI Work Sharing Program, which provides EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers, will extend the eligibility of such agreements to 76 weeks, easing eligibility requirements, and streamlining the application process.
Indigenous Community Support Fund
A new Indigenous Community Support fund will provide $305 million to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alberta will see over $26 million and $7 million flowing to First Nations and Métis communities, respectively. These funds can provide supports for Elders and vulnerable community members, measures to address food insecurity, educational and other support for children, mental health assistance and emergency response services, and preparedness measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Supports for people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak will see $157.5 million to the Reaching Home initiative. This funding can go towards purchasing beds and physical barriers for social distancing and securing accommodation to reduce overcrowding in shelters.
Women’s Shelters and Sexual Assault Centres
Up to $50 million will be provided to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities.
Canada Student Loans Program
The Government of Canada has paused the repayment of Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans until September 30, 2020, with no accrual of interest. Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.
Canada Emergency Student Benefit
Post-secondary students and recent graduates who are ineligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or Employment Insurance and cannot find full-time employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible for the proposed Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). The CESB will provide $1,250 per month for eligible students from May through August 2020 and $2,000 per month for students with dependents and those with permanent disabilities.
Practical services: delivery of items and personal outreach
The Government of Canada is contributing $9 million through United Way Canada for local organizations to support practical services to senior citizens. These services include the delivery of groceries, medications, or other needed items, or personal outreach to assess individuals’ needs and connect them to community supports.
Mental health support
The Government of Canada is giving $7.5 million in funding to Kids Help Phone to provide young people with mental health supports.
Children's Aid Foundation of Canada COVID-19 Youth Resource List
CAEH: Preventing Eviction
Access CAEH’s one-pager highlighting ways to prevent eviction in the household, provincially and federally.
Government of Canada: financial assistance for newcomers, temporary residents and refugees
The Government of Canada has compiled a list of benefit programs to help those who face financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you live in Canada, even temporarily, there may be support for you. Click here for their COVID-19 financial assistance page.
Provincial Resources and Programs
Emergency isolation support
Working Albertans can receive a one-time emergency isolation support payment of $1,146 if they experienced loss of income as a result of having to self-isolate and have no other source of compensation, such as workplace sick leave benefits or federal employment insurance benefits.
Utility payment deferral
Bill payments to electricity and natural gas services can be deferred for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off. This program is available to Albertans who are experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19.
Student Loans Deferral
A six-month, interest-free, moratorium on Alberta student loan payments is being implemented for all Albertans in the process of repaying these loans, effective March 30, 2020. Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause and borrowers may continue making payments during this period if they choose. This mirrors the approach of the Canada Student Loans Program.
Metis Nation of Alberta COVID-19 Supports
A number of financial supports are being made available to Metis citizens in Alberta, which include emergency rent supplements, child wellness benefits, and a benevolent fund top-up.
Rent Relief and Suspending Eviction Enforcement
Evictions due to failure to pay rent are suspended until April 30, 2020. There will be no rent increases permitted for the duration of the public health emergency. Late fees will not apply for failure to pay rent between April 1 and June 30.
Family Violence During COVID-19
Read and share – Family violence during COVID-19 info sheet
- In case of an emergency, call 911. Police and emergency responders will continue to respond throughout the pandemic, even to those in quarantine.
- Family Violence Info Line
o anonymous support from trained staff:
- Call 310-1818 | 24/7 | 170+ languages
- Chat online alberta.ca/SafetyChat | 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily | English
ACWS Member Shelters
The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters has a list of available shelters in each city in Alberta.
If you are in immediate danger call 911
If you need to speak with someone at a shelter near you, call our toll free line at 1-866-331-3933 and press 1
Indigenous Program Resources and Services
Read or Download this valuable resource provided by Indigenous Health Program (AHS).
Shelter Guidance: Preventing, Controlling, and Managing COVID-19
This report provides necessary information for emergency shelters and temporary housing facilities to help prepare and know what to do during an outbreak.
Municipal/Local Resources and Programs
You Can Benefit - Eligibility Screener
This handy online tool assesses your eligibility for benefits and services available to individuals offered by the municipal, provincial, and federal government.
Finding Free Tax Help
The Interfaith Housing Initiative has been working with community partners to provide tax filing assistance for immigrants and low-income individuals and families. This resource is updated regularly.
Support for Homeless Individuals
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Edmonton, Community and Social Services, Alberta Health Services, Homeward Trust, and community partners has set up a safe space at the Edmonton EXPO Centre for those experiencing homelessness.
The EXPO Centre is open to any person who is homeless and currently using shelters and is not exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms for day drop-in service from 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week, beginning March 24. Any person who is homeless and is exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms can use their isolation shelter.
As of March 21, 2020, all Edmonton Transit Services are free until further notice. This includes bus, LRT, and DATS. Riders of buses are to enter at the back of the bus.
Note: On June 15, 2020 fare collection will resume. Those with bus passes from March or April will not have to pay fare for the month of June.
Parking Fees Suspended
Effective March 21, parking fees for City of Edmonton curbside and EPark zones are temporarily suspended. This includes City-owned EPark covered, indoor and underground parking facilities. Paid parking will be restored (at a reduced rate) effective June 8. Note: privately owned parking lots are not included.
Edmonton Food Security Resources List
This document provides a listing of cereal breakfasts, bagged lunches, take-away hot meals, and hamper services available throughout the city. Lists locations, contact information, and operating hours.
COVID-19 Multilingual Resource Options
REACH has been collecting links for information on COVID-19 that provide multilingual resources. Some of these links may be known to you, others may have new information
Local Organizations in Operation during COVID-19
Andrew Knack, Ward 1 Councillor has produced the following list. Visit https://www.andrewknack.com/local-organizations-in-operation-during-covid-19/ or for a detailed list click on the Google Doc link below.
The Google Doc is constantly being updated by our Ward 1 team as the needs of social agencies change on a daily basis. The date of when the document was last updated will be disclosed on the document itself. The best way to stay informed on the needs of specific organizations is to visit their websites or social media via their disclosed links. If you organization is missing from this list please message our team and we will be sure to add it.
Indigenous Support Program Resources & Services (Edmonton Zone)
Click on the link above to access the list of resources compiled by AHS Indigenous Health Program Edmonton Zone.
YEG Community Response to COVID19 (Facebook Group)
This is a great document created by the YEG Community Response to COVID19 (Facebook Group).
This is intended to be a crowdsourced and shared living document. Copy and share whatever information that benefits your networks!
Local Restaurants and Businesses Hours, Pickup, and Delivery Options
An extensive list of local restaurants and places to get food and information on their hours, pickup, and delivery options. (Courtesy of V. Luong)
Medical students from the University of Alberta provide:
- Pick-up and delivery of online grocery orders from one of the major grocery stores
- Grocery shopping and delivery (includes local farmers’ markets)
- Prescription pick-up and delivery
(no delivery or service fee) See their website for more details.
Edmonton Meals on Wheels
A local non-profit that provides and delivers meals and food-services.
REACH Keeping Kids Safe Resource List
REACH has compiled a list of resources and phone numbers to help support families and children during the pandemic. See link below.
City of Edmonton COVID-19 Dashboard
Originally published on: https://www.edmonton.ca/programs_services/emergency_preparedness/covid-19.aspx
This dashboard provides information about various elements of the City of Edmonton’s response to COVID-19. Information is updated daily.