We are now a few weeks into quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Greater Vancouver community has come together to offer support during this challenging time in inspiring and unprecedented ways.
We compiled a list of resources in various areas for those living in the Greater Vancouver area and hope this helps us all remain connected and kind to one another during this time of social distancing. Many of these resources are working documents and people are welcome to continue contributing to them.
Supporting local businesses: People are staying home and self-isolating, and many local businesses are struggling with this new economic reality as a result. This document lists local companies who are offering delivery services in industries such as food, beauty and health, technology, clothing and more. You can also check out the YVR Local Delivery listings as they’ll match what you’re searching for to a local business who can deliver the item to you.
If you order something via a delivery service, be considerate of the safety and livelihood of couriers and employees. Instruct them to leave packages at your door to minimize risk of contracting the virus. Tip them generously if you are able to.
Finding employment: Many individuals whose industries have taken a hit because of COVID-19 have been laid off and are now looking for employment. A job search can be difficult enough on its own, but searching during a pandemic comes with a unique set of challenges. This list compiles employers across Canada hiring during the pandemic along with the industries they are hiring employees for.
Financial resources: There is also a working document sharing resources for any possible type of financial situation – from applying for employment insurance or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, listing relief services for bills and payments, or providing information on credits and tools for struggling businesses. Future sections include financial resources for the elderly, Indigenous communities and vulnerable populations.
For senior citizens, the Safe Seniors, Strong Communities program from bc211 matches seniors who need support with volunteers in the community who can assist them in obtaining non-medical essential supplies. The Chinatown Cares group fundraiser is also raising funds for a grocery delivery program for seniors in the Chinatown area. Their first delivery to five seniors will go out this week and they are hoping to establish themselves as a reliable grocery delivery service within the community.
Mutual aid: Looking for something specific? Or want to provide services to someone in need? The Coming Together Vancouver app connects those who need help with those wanting to give help – whether it’d be doing a grocery run, shopping for medicine or supplies, or simply giving a phone call to someone who needs company. A Facebook group moderated by the app’s creators also exists to provide an online forum where people can make requests and offer their services.
More recently, the United Way launched their Local Love in a Global Crisis site to help connect those in need of support with the services they need while the City of Vancouver has launched their Give a Hand site to collect offers from businesses an individuals seeking to help during the crisis.
BC Hotline: British Columbia is creating a new information hotline solely dedicated to answering non-medical questions about COVID-19. Service providers at the new phone line will help answer questions about travel recommendations, social distancing, and what kinds of support, resources and assistance are available from the provincial and federal governments. The new hotline, which can be reached by calling 1-888-COVID19 or 1-888-268-4319, will be staffed from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day with information available in more than 110 languages.
Don’t see a resource on this list? Feel free to share it in the comments below. In the midst of this scary and uncertain time, people are putting their best foot forward in times of crisis. By sharing information and helping each other, we as a city and community will get through this together.