We continue to work actively with agencies and donors in our community as a member of the Saskatoon Inter-Agency Response to COVID-19.
Saskatoon Inter-Agency Response to COVID-19 (SIRC) is a group representing over 50 community-based organizations and government agencies. The collaboration was formed to address the unique challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic for agencies serving vulnerable residents.
At the outset of the pandemic, an Incident Command Structure was adopted through City of Saskatoon emergency management, and was staffed by reallocated staff members from front line community and government agencies. Priority was given to assisting agencies serving residents experiencing deep food and housing insecurity. Core work has consisted of monitoring the pandemic, responding to incidents, gathering and sharing safety information, liaising with partners, advocating for community needs, procuring resources, and organizing financial assistance.
The personal and professional commitment of collaborators providing a well-coordinated, useful, timely response…has reduced hardship and saved lives.–Colleen Christopherson-Cote, SIRC
SIRC used a coordinated approach for services, sharing information formally, developing public messaging, raising funds, providing isolation and transitional housing, and providing testing with a harm reduction model. Additional work is being done by task forces addressing technology barriers and the lack of access to public washrooms.
The agencies involved recognize the unprecedented pandemic has revealed existing social inequalities, with the consequence of making some populations unequally vulnerable during and after crises.
Saskatoon Community Foundation’s role
The foundation has collected donations and disbursed funds for a coordinated approach to address basic needs for vulnerable populations. Essentials like food, water, and personal protective equipment have been part of the community-led relief efforts over the last seven months, as agencies came together.
Want to make a donation for local COVID relief?
The foundation continues to accept funds for Saskatoon’s COVID-19 response. Donations may be designated through the Saskatoon Community Foundation website. To make your donation, visit Give Now.