Ontario Protects Homeless Shelters Against COVID-19

Published on March 10, 2021

ELGIN-MIDDLESEX-LONDON —The Ontario government is providing over $7 million to help local service managers respond to an increase in COVID-19 cases in some emergency shelters and help keep vulnerable people safe. The new funding will protect homeless shelter staff and residents, and help prevent more people from becoming homeless.


Local allocations are as follows:

  • City of London- $5,567,813, bringing total SSRF funding to $16,702,278
  • City of St. Thomas- $1,525,174, bring total SSRF funding to $4,575,205


“I am very proud that our government continues to provide essential housing relief funding to support our must vulnerable neighbours,” said Jeff Yurek, MPP. “This lifesaving funding is being used for a range of innovative and inspiring initiatives that ensure everyone has a safe place to call home during these challenging times.”


Today’s announcement is part of the province’s additional $255 million investment through the Social Services Relief Fund. Municipal service managers and Indigenous program partners can use the funding to acquire motel and hotel spaces to support physical distancing of shelter residents, hire more shelter staff, purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies, and add to rent and utility banks to prevent more people from becoming homeless.


“Our government is once again taking immediate action to save lives by responding to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in some emergency shelters across the province,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This investment will ensure our municipal service managers can keep vulnerable people and shelter workers safe by providing them with the financial ability to take any means necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19 in shelter spaces.”


Under the Social Services Relief Fund, Ontario has provided $765 million to help service managers and Indigenous program partners support shelters, create longer-term housing solutions and help vulnerable Ontarians affected by COVID-19, including those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.



  • Ontario launched the Social Services Relief Fund in March 2020 to help protect the health and safety of the province’s most vulnerable people during COVID-19.
  • As part of its Community Housing Renewal Strategy and response to COVID-19, Ontario is investing approximately $1.75 billion in 2020-2021 to help sustain, repair and grow community housing and help end homelessness. This includes the Social Services Relief Fund.