How Red Cross is helping in Canada

The Canadian Red Cross is dedicated to supporting individuals, families and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through relationships with government agencies and widespread community partnerships, the Red Cross continues to adapt to emerging needs to assist the country’s most vulnerable as this international crisis evolves.

Find out how the Red Cross is helping in your community

Here are some examples of how the Canadian Red Cross is helping or has helped so far:

Assisting vulnerable populations

Providing supplies, including cots, blankets, and clean-up kits upon request by local authorities to various locations across the country to help support vulnerable populations.

In Ontario, the Canadian Red Cross is operating a call centre on behalf of the City of Toronto to ensure that vulnerable individuals in isolation have a mechanism for receiving food. Food hampers are then delivered to those in need of assistance. In partnership with the City of Ottawa, Red Cross is going door-to-door to determine how isolated individuals are coping, and to ensure their immediate needs are met, which includes food and medicine supply.

In Québec, at the request of the City of Montreal, the Red Cross is distributing food to homeless people and is coordinating temporary homeless shelters to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at various outdoors sites.

Virtual care and friendly calls

Offering virtual care over the phone in Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island to provide referrals, guidance and emotional support to help people through their isolation period.

There is also a Friendly Phone Program in Saskatchewan and in Alberta.

Working with Indigenous communities

Building off a long history working alongside Indigenous communities, the Canadian Red Cross is working in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada to help communities across the country to prepare for and respond to COVID-19.

Deployment of field hospitals, training and Health Equipment distribution

Components of the Canadian Red Cross Emergency Field Hospital have been sent to Vancouver and Montreal to augment existing health infrastructure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Distributing additional equipment through the Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP) to assist Canadians recovering at home from surgery or illnesses. The need has increased for equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, commodes, hospital beds, and IV poles to support people in their recovery at home.

In Quebec, in support of the Government of Québec, the Canadian Red Cross deployed a humanitarian workforce to work in long-term care homes identified by the healthcare network.  Red Cross personnel are also organizing and delivering personal protective equipment (PPE) and prevention of disease transmission training for people in the health network and those recruited to provide support in seniors housing.

Services to Canadians returning home

At the request of the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Red Cross is providing comfort and care services to Canadians returning to Canada in eight locations: Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Toronto, Montreal, Fredericton, St. John’s and Halifax. Services include registration and information services, the provision of personal items, meal delivery service, safety and wellbeing support, and family reunification.

Supporting community organizations

Thanks to funding from the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund, led by Employment and Social Development Canada, the Canadian red Cross distributed grants, training and personal protective equipment available to community organizations across the country, as they deliver services to those who are the most vulnerable to the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19.

Learn more about how the Red Cross is helping in your community

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