Together Project
Covid-19
Image by: Emilie Muszczak
Covid-19

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Welcome Group Links and Resources for Remote Social Support

Together Project is proceeding with our Welcome Group program via remote volunteer on-boarding, training and matching support. In keeping with physical distancing requirements, we are asking our Welcome Group volunteers to avoid in-person interactions with their matched newcomer households until further notice.

Now more than ever, we believe that access to social connections is critical for vulnerable newcomers. We suggest that volunteers check in with matched refugee households more frequently, not less. You may want to call or send a WhatsApp message to your matched household every few days. It is important to ask questions, share information and be responsive to concerns. Together Project staff are here to help you so please reach out for guidance.

September Updates

When to Wear a Mask

As of July 7, wearing a mask or face covering is required in indoor public spaces under the Mandatory Mask or Face Covering Bylaw. A mask or face covering is also recommended outdoors when physical distancing is not possible. Get more information about masks and face coverings.

TDSB Schools Reopening 

Schools will reopen as of September 8th, with a number of new protocols in place including enhanced public health protocols, modified school routines, and at home learning. Learn more here.

Returning to School: A Guide to Safe Reopening

This guide was developed by TDSB experts from areas including health and safety, facilities, teaching and learning, special education, and more. In addition, the guide was informed by consultations with students, staff, parents/guardians, Toronto Public Health and the Ministry of Education.

COSTI Employment Webinars/Training

Register for COSTI Employment Services information sessions and learn about their services, how they can help you with job search and to market yourself during this challenging time. Program calendar.

CultureLink Conversation Circles

New virtual conversation circles on Wednesdays from 3:00 to 4:30pm and Thursday from 6:00 to 7:30pm. A Mentorship Program run by experienced mentors and allows newcomers to make new friends, network and share their experiences, all while practicing English in a relaxed environment. To participate, you must be at least 18 years old, a Permanent Resident or Convention Refugee. To register, contact Elizabeth via ehamulka@culturelink.ca.

Employment and Settlement Webinars by Newcomer Women’s Services

The Employment and Settlement teams at Newcomer Women’s Services offer regular webinars. They’re free—and in the case of the employment webinars—they’re open to everyone. Settlement webinars are open to permanent residents, convention refugees, naturalized Canadian Citizens, refugee claimants, international students, temporary foreign workers, and approved Ontario provincial nominees. Topics include: housing, resume building, interview prep, and personal finances. Look at their schedule here.

Polycultural Sewing and Knitting Club

This sewing and knitting program helps newcomers build a community and feel at home. Every Wednesday from 11:00am to 1:00pm. Register by calling 9054038860 ext. 5231 or emailing: nrashid@polycultural.org

Polycultural Yoga for Seniors

Join weekly yoga every Thursday 1pm to 2:30pm. The sessions work on improving balance and flexibility, relax, reenergize, stay active and make friends. Join by emailing rrahmanyar@polycultural.org or calling 416-261-4901 ext. 3230

Polycultural Seniors Activities 

For seniors to meet people and engage in activities weekly on Wednesdays from 11:30am to 1:00pm. Activities include are education, cards and games, yoga, special events and more. Call 905-403-8860 ext. 5231 to register or email: nrashid@polycultural.org

Fall recreation and after-school programs resuming

The City is gearing up to offer fall recreation programs beginning this October as well as After-school Recreation Care (ARC) and Community Leadership After-School Program (CLASP) this September. The City is Toronto’s largest provider of safe, fun and high-quality recreation programs for people of all ages, skill levels and interests.

Registration for fall recreation programming will take place from September 12 to 16. Torontonians can expect to see many of their favourite registered recreation programs, including swimming lessons, on offer this fall.

The programs will run with reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing and to ensure that people can safely participate in indoor settings. Additionally, some programs won’t be able to resume if they require the sharing of equipment or food supplies.

Many community centres will also offer free recreation programs this fall, including leisure swimming and drop-in programs for children, youth and older adults. More information is available here.

TDSB Returning to School Health and Safety Measures

These are some of the new health and safety measures which will be implemented in schools. “The most important thing families can do to help mitigate the transmission of COVID-19, is to screen their children daily for any COVID-19 symptoms and keep them home from school if they are sick or have had close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19.”

Schedules for Elementary and Secondary School Days

These are the current schedules for back to school. This is the elementary school schedule and this is the secondary school schedule.

Ready for my Refugee Hearing

Ready For My Refugee Hearing aims to empower every person seeking refugee protection in Canada to be as prepared as possible for their refugee hearing. It brings together two successful programs aimed at achieving this mission: The Preparation Guide and READY Tours.

Refugee Hearing orientation sessions online

Considering recent developments related to COVID-19,  the FCJ Refugee Centre is providing Virtual Orientation Sessions for claimants to prepare for their hearings. For registrations please contact Carolina Teves at cteves@fcjrefugeecentre.org

Available in 9 languages: English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, Turkish, and Sorani Kurdish.

LINC English Language Classes Resuming Online

All COSTI full-time and part-time LINC English language classes will resume ONLINE on September 8th. We are accepting new learners who are eligible for the training and wish to improve their English language skills. For more information visit buff.ly/31VlO7m

Tech Lending Lifeline – digital device and wrap around services for youth and older workers on OW
People without a tech device and internet access during the COVD-19 pandemic have suffered from disconnection from family and friends, employment, services and more. Toronto Employment and Social Services (TESS) responded by offering WoodGreen funding to acquire digital tablets and internet plus life stabilization services.
Eligibility:

  • Youth 18-29 and 45+, Ontario Works Recipient
  • Lacks a digital device
  • Needs life stabilization services

Please ask clients to contact their OW Case Worker to get involved with this program. If you have questions, please contact Brent Grimard at (416) 645-6000 ext. 1923 or bgrimard@woodgreen.org.

Kids At Home – Kids Up Front

As kids gear up to head back to school, Kids at Home has something for all interests! Craft your own back to school supplies or enjoy a new take on space with creative art projects. Discover a new favourite story with Unite for Literacy’s collection of narrated storybooks. Learn how to practice self-care in turbulent times with a month-long calendar.

Government Resources

Ministry of Education Support for Families

The Ministry of Education is providing financial support to parents to assist with the costs of educational resources during school and child care closures as a result of Ontario’s declared emergency to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Ontario School Closure Information

Public schools will remain closed until May 31, 2020. As this date come closer, this decision will be re-evaluated based on public health advice.

City of Toronto COVID-19 Income Support

This page offers a list of resources which can be used to help minimize those impacts and help get Toronto residents back on their feet.

Ontario Works Assistance

Ontario Works provides money for food, shelter and other costs to people in financial need who meet the eligibility criteria. Applications for Ontario Works financial assistance is available online and by phone 416-338-8888.

Ontario Disability Support Program

If you have a disability and need help with your living expenses, you may be eligible for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). If you are not already receiving support from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program, you can apply for emergency assistance online.

Rent Changes During COVID-19

Learn about the temporary changes to residential rental processes, and where landlords and tenants can get more help. In response to the evolving COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, no new eviction orders will be issued until further notice.

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Information on economic support to individuals, families and businesses during COVID-19.

Canada Child Benefit Increase

Canada is are providing up to an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Those who have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.

Toronto Changes to City Services

A list of all city services impacted by the state of emergency in Toronto.

Toronto Support for Seniors and Vulnerable Populations

New food access supports and resources are available for seniors and other vulnerable people experiencing hardship related to COVID-19.

Ontario Expands Coverage for Care (OHIP)

Ontario is waiving the three-month waiting period for Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage. Additionally, the province will cover the cost of COVID-19 services for uninsured people who do not meet the criteria for OHIP coverage.

City of Toronto Resource Map

This tool has up-to-date service listings across Toronto, including ‘open’ Food Services and agencies. Additional layers and details are being updated daily by 211 Toronto and the City of Toronto.

Financial Relief Navigator

Learn about the help you can get to raise your income or lower your expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): financial assistance for newcomers, temporary residents and refugees

This page answers questions about the Canada Child Benefit, Canada Emergency Response Benefit, and family sponsorship in 10 languages.

City of Toronto – Chatbot

The City of Toronto has introduced a chatbot to help residents and businesses with common COVID-19 questions.

One-Time Tax-Free Payment for Seniors

A new one-time tax-free payment of $300 for seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, with an additional $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).

Benefits Finder

Answer questions to get a customized list of benefits for which you may be eligible. The Benefits Finder may suggest benefits from federal, provincial or territorial governments, and does not collect or track your information. The more questions you answer, the more customized your results will be.

Toronto Rent Bank

Rent relief is available to low-income households who are in rental arrears or need to move to more suitable housing.  The Toronto Rent Bank Program, funded by the City of Toronto provides interest-free loans to cover rental arrears and rental deposits.

Child Care Centres to Re-open Across the Province

The Ontario government announced its plan to reopen child care centres across the province to support the next stage of the province’s reopening framework. Developed in consultation with Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and medical leaders at The Hospital for Sick Children, the plan will require child care operators to follow strict health protocols to ensure the safety of child care staff and children.

Anti-Black Racism Analysis Tool for a Radically Equitable COVID-19 Response

This Anti-Black Racism Analysis Tool for a Radically Equitable COVID-19 Response was developed by the City of Toronto Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit to ensure municipal services, spaces and policies are fully inclusive and accessible to Black Torontonians.

Because the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the social, economic and health crisis in Toronto’s Black communities, the Anti-Black Racism Analysis Tool has been adapted to serve as a resource for governments and community organizations that are committed to making their services, planning, practices and programs more responsive to the unique and specific experiences of Black communities.

Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Resources

Information on Remote Learning

Students are learning at home — remote learning — because of COVID-19. Learning will take on a variety of forms and may include online learning, phone connections, assignments submitted by email, online classrooms, off-line tasks and more.

Questions and Answers about Remote Learning

This page answers questions about student’s assessments, schedule and access to Wifi and devices.

Student’s Guide to Schooling During COVID-19

This guide for students can help them understand their rights and expectations during remote learning. Some of the language and questions are for older students, but parents, and younger students can find the information helpful as well. There is also some resources for food, mental health and legal supports.

Ontario Prepares for the Safe Reopening of Schools

The Ontario government released its safety plan for the resumption of class for the 2020-21 school year, outlining scenarios for how students, teachers and staff can safely return to classrooms in September. The plan also provides choice to parents, enhanced online learning, and additional funding. More information: here.

Refugee Services

New refugee claimants during Covid-19 information

The Canadian government has applied restrictions to air travel, effective March 18, 2020  and applied restrictions at the US border, effective March 21, 2020. Subject to limited exceptions, asylum-seekers who present themselves at a Canadian official land border post or who enter Canada irregularly in-between official land border posts will temporarily be sent back to the United States and be able to come back at the Canadian border once the measure is lifted.

Hearings postponed

For those who have a hearing scheduled before the Refugee Protection Division of the IRB, note that all hearings and appointments are postponed until further notice. You will receive a resumption notice 30 days before your new hearing date. At this time all in-person hearings are postponed until further notice.

Submission of documents

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada front offices are closed. Effective immediately, in-person correspondence (hand-delivery) is no longer accepted.

Temporary extensions for appeals

The Immigration Refugee Board has allowed time extension for filing a notice of appeal and perfecting an appeal. If the deadline is on or after January 1, 2020, this date is extended until 30 days after the date of the resumption notice which will be posted on the IRB’s website.

YMCA Newcomer Information Centre Online Services

The YMCA Newcomer Information Centre is now extending its services online. They offer One-on-One Live Chats providing customized settlement plans. Information and Referrals on Government Benefits, Immigration and Citizenship, Employment, Education and Training, Credential Assessment, Language Training, Health, Housing and much more. Various in-house and guest-speaker Webinars covering topics of Life in Canada, Study in Canada, and Work in Canada. Virtual Community Connection activities to networking and practice language skills. An Online Forum to post questions and get professional answers from our team of specialists.

IRB Business Resumption Measures

Mail services will restart in IRB offices in Montreal and Toronto on June 22, 2020, with partial registry resuming in those same cities on June 29, 2020.

The Refugee Protection Division and the Immigration Appeal Division are resuming in-person hearings in Vancouver the week of July 20, 2020 and in all other IRB locations the week of August 3, 2020. The Board will be contacting counsel, claimants and appellants to re-schedule their hearings.

Counsel, claimants and appellants should refer to the Practice Notice​ for IRB Business resumption measures related to COVID-19 for more information.

New LIP Employment Flyer Bank

Employment related programs and services all listed under one roof. An initiative of Toronto West LIP employment resource connections action group.

Online English Language Lessons for Spanish and Portuguese Speakers Available through FCJ

Below you can find the Registration link for the first English Class we are organizing for anyone who is interested in learning English .

Register here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2901891969422185487

Health Resources

Ontario COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool

This questionnaire is designed to help assess your risk factors for COVID-19 infection and to provide guidance on how to keep yourself, your family, and your community healthy.

Toronto Region COVID-19 Assessment Centres

A number of dedicated assessment centres have been established across Toronto to facilitate assessment and testing.

Free Virtual Doctor

Cover Health is providing virtual care services to anyone in Ontario. They can serve most needs of patients all from the comfort of your home.

TeleHealth Ontario

Telehealth Ontario is a free, confidential service you can call to get health advice or information. A Registered Nurse will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Free Mental Health Counselling 

Clients can self-refer to programs and find the appropriate supports needed to help cope with the stress, isolation and anxiety. Online iCBT (Internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is supported by therapists and available in English and French.

Public Health Agency of Canada

Ontario Ministry of Health

Toronto Public Health 

World Health Organization

The Good Neighbour Project

This is a network of community members that are willing assist with delivering supplies and groceries to healthcare workers, those with disabilities, compromised immune systems, accessibility barriers, and the elderly, across the GTA.

Canadian Council for Refugees Resource List

Sesame Street Teaches How to Wash Your Hands

How to Talk to Your Child About Covid-19 from UNICEF

How to Protect Yourself from COVID-19

A page for older adults and people with chronic medical conditions or weakened immune systems.

Mask Use for Non-Healthcare Workers

This fact sheet features the use of masks for workers in non-health care settings.

How to Care for Pets and Other Animals 

If you have COVID-19 or you or your pets have been exposed to COVID-19

Internet Resources

The following are options for accessing free or low cost Internet in Toronto. 

ROGERS – Connected for Success Program 

This is a program for subsidized tenants and members of housing partnersHigh speed internet for $9.99 per month. No credit checks, free installation, free modem rental. Call 1-866-689-0758 to ask if you qualify and register.

Wireless Toronto Non-Profit – Free Internet Hotspot Project

Anyone in Toronto with  a valid email address can go to a Wireless Toronto location – see map. Use your device to connect to the network called wirelesstoronto. 

Free Internet Hotspots In Public Spaces

Anyone in Toronto can connect to free internet hotspots at specific locations around the city.

SHAWDundas & Victoria Street (northwest corner) – Shaw Go network – no login

BELL: Indigo, McDonald’s, Tim Horton’s – can use even if they are closed

TELUS: Toronto Coach Terminal, 610 Bay Street

Tips to Stay Engaged While at Home

Ontario Ministry of Education Online Learning for Elementary and Secondary Students

Find supplementary resources for elementary and secondary students to practice math and literacy skills and learn at home.

Storytelling and Other Activities for Children

With kids at home and parents looking for educational activities, many of our favorite authors are offering online read-alouds and activities on social media.

Audible Stories for Children

Right now, kids everywhere can instantly stream a collection of stories, including titles across six different languages on Audible for free.

Live-Streamed Events Listing

The Social Distancing Festival is an online artist’s community made to celebrate and showcase the work of the many artists around the world who have been affected by the need for social distancing that has come about due to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Scholastic Learn at Home

Daily projects by grade level to keep kids busy, reading, thinking and learning.

BrainPop

BrainPop is a group of educational websites with over 1,000 short animated movies for students in grades K-12, together with quizzes and related materials, covering the subjects of science, social studies, English, math, engineering and technology, health, and arts and music.

Tynker: Coding for Kids

Tynker is an educational programming platform aimed at teaching children how to make games and programs.

Outschool

8000+ video chat classes for K-12 science, art, mindfulness, english, social studies, life skills, and more!

Khan Academy

Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. Classes in math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more.

Radio Stations from Around the World

Explore live radio by rotating a 3D globe.

List of Museums Offering Virtual Tours

14 international museums providing virtual tours right now.

NASA Space Image and Video Gallery

Explore images and videos from space missions over the years.

BookBoon Free Books and Textbooks

Easy-to-use library with hundreds of practical eBooks on soft skills and personal development. Free for students.

Shahid MBC Movies and Television in Arabic

Watch free television and movies in Arabic.

Harvard’s Free Online Courses

64 free courses available on topics including business, health, programming, humanities, religion, and science.

Stay, Play & Learn at Home

Free, high-quality recreation, active living, arts and culture activities for all ages to enjoy while staying, playing, and learning at home. Sort by audience for different target age groups – many activities are for everyone.

Arts at Home

Arts@Home brings Toronto’s arts sector together for you—delivered straight to your home. Many of Toronto’s leading arts organizations are reaching beyond traditional practice to come together and freely share digital content that bring the arts home for you.

Virtual School Day

Over 100 free live K-12 classes available all day long intended to help parents fill their children’s day with enriched learning. Some popular classes are “Intro to Spanish for Kids”, “Coolest Women in History”, “Java Programming Basics”, and “The Story of Your Favourite Fairy Tales”.

Virtual Summer Camps

Free half-day summer camps will be a week-long, with enrichment-based classes in subjects like foreign languages, chess, theatre, coding, Minecraft, how to be a detective, photography and more. There are 200 camps scheduled for the summer.

English Language Practice

These resources from the Toronto Public Library can help newcomers practice English. A library card is needed to access all these resources. If you do not have a library card, you can sign up online for an Instant Digital Card here.

  • Mango Languages helps newcomers learn English from home with interactive lesson plans.
  • Road to IELTS has interactive English lessons, practice tests and answers for those applying for higher education or professional registration in an English speaking environment.
  • ESL E-Books can be accessed online and used to practice English with volunteers. There are also audiobooks for practicing English on your own.

Educational YouTube Channels

Crash Course Kids

Science Channel

SciShow Kids

National Geographic Kids

Free School

Geography Focus

TheBrainScoop

SciShow

Kids Learning Tube

Geek Gurl Diaries

Mike Likes Science

Science Max

SoulPancake

Online English Language Lessons for Spanish and Portuguese Speakers Available through FCJ

Below you can find the Registration link for the first English Class we are organizing for anyone who is interested in learning English .

Register here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2901891969422185487