The era of “no mask, no service” is unintentionally depriving certain vulnerable segments of our population from getting the social services they need. So United Way North East Ontario took on the mask task.
Regional manager Jennifer Gorman says through its community response fund, the United Way has bought 7,000 masks. It relied on the Porcupine Health Unit to advise where the masks should be distributed across the District of Cochrane.
“We identified those vulnerable populations and we made sure that masks were then distributed to agencies so they could give them to their clients,” Gorman outlines.
The masks are washable, making them reusable in any circumstance. Most of them have been delivered to those agencies, but Gorman notes that there are some left. “So if there are agencies that have those identified clients that are saying they’re coming in to access service and they don’t have a mask or they’re going to school and they don’t have a mask, they can reach out and I can see what I might have left available.”