COVID-19 Updates & Funding

Madison pivoted quickly starting in mid- March and continue to do so throughout the pandemic to safely continue to provide our existing programs and services to our clients. Our mental health case managers have been working from home supporting their clients remotely by phone or video session (and in person when necessary using PPE). Our on-site high support housing programs have been modified but the program’s essential staff continue to work in the program centres and provide supports by phone and by meeting with clients safely with PPE. The meal programs have been modified to continue to provide three nutritious meals per day in take-out containers.

In addition, the pandemic has put a strong spotlight on a number of significant service gaps which we have been addressing as they are identified. Examples include:

  • We have created a Food Security Program which delivers fresh food boxes; prepared meals and groceries to clients who have physical disabilities or other barriers (including financial) which have been preventing them from shopping or cooking nutritious meals.
  • We also moved quickly in April to hire more Housing Support Workers (HSWs) to be on-site at our congregate/shared living houses on a daily basis. During the pandemic a primary responsibility of the HSWs has been to ensure that clients were oriented to and are following the safety measures necessary to avoid an outbreak. In addition, the HSWs provide a wide range of other supports to the client-tenants which have assuaged the anxiety and the social isolation that the pandemic has created.
  • We purchased cell phones for clients who did not have phones to connect with their case managers and laptops for clients who are at high risk and require a higher level of contact through video case management sessions.
  • We have continued to offer social-recreation workshops to our clients by video such as yoga, dance, and cooking sessions.

We have incurred a large amount of COVID-19 related expenses through these necessary actions but with the support of our Board Fundraising Committee we have been successful in being approved for grants from many funders.

We would like to extend great gratitude to the following who have helped ensure that our clients are safe and continue to receive the case management and other supports they require during this unprecedented time:

  • Federal Government of Canada
  • Ontario Ministry of Health (MOH)
  • Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
  • Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (TC LHIN)
  • City of Toronto, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration (SSHA)
  • United Way of Greater Toronto – Local Love Fund and Emergency Community Support Fund
  • Toronto Foundation – Emergency Community Support Fund
  • Canadian Red Cross
  • Good Food Access Fund
  • Second Harvest Food Rescue
  • Food Share Toronto
  • Equitable Bank
  • Sleep Country Canada

Testimonials

I want to thanks Madison and you as my Social Worker to help me with the delivery of food especially now that I am not working and still during my chemotherapy follow up every 3 months. It has been very helpful during this time of quarantine. It’s a very balance food box and help me economically a lot with my reduced budget. Hope you can continue helping me.”

– Bibiana Sanchez

I just wanted to say that I am grateful for the fresh vegetables and fruit that I received from the Good Food Box program through Madison. They were a boost of fresh, healthy, yummy goodness that I needed, especially during this pandemic while we are all self-isolating. It extended my food, added to my healthy diet, and made me feel so much better. It even started me eating salads again! We know good, healthy food can improve our mental health, but actually having the food right in front of me – food I couldn’t afford to buy that much in a week – dramatically improved my healthy eating habits, and the variety of fruit and vegetables I was consuming. Thank you so much!

– C.R

“Thank you to the government and the computer company for the computer. I use the internet to look up information on COVID-19, health information, news, YouTube and the online dictionary. I stay in touch with my family and friends through the internet. In addition, I used the internet to look up information on ODSP. I am much happier and relieved to have the internet.”

– M.F

The produce box has been such a great help. I can’t always afford vegetables, now I can have a salad with dinner, and I’ve Googled recipes for how to use other things that I wouldn’t normally buy like celery – I can now make a killer salary soup, and the apples are like a Christmas treat – and apples are so healthy. Even parsley encouraged me to make a big pot of tomato sauce and meatballs for spaghetti, so that 1 item saw me spend two days making making sauce on one day (14 containers into the freezer) and 30 meatballs the next day into the freezer. For the money I had to pay out, it saves me in the long run when I can make a lot and freeze it down. Fighting pre-diabetes, it really helps adding healthier fruit & vegetable items into my diet too, along with more walking.”

– Don B.

“Since the Covid-19 pandemic began in Toronto in March 2020, many things have changed for everyone. My counselor Simin has worked with me daily to help avoid isolation. During the spring my cell phone stopped working. This left me looking for working pay phones to contact people. Realizing the practical benefits of having a cell phone to avoid isolation, and to enable others to contact me, Madison Community Services surprised me by providing me with a new cell phone. This was done on their own initiative and I am very grateful to both Simin and Madison. As I continue my journey to building a meaningful and secure life, Madison continues to support me. Simin and I remain in contact daily to address various issues, or provide leads on employment. I recognized years ago that I needed help to better manage my life, and Simin and Madison have been my main supports. I am very grateful for that support.”
 
– G.L