COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery

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COVID-19 has shaken Innisfil to its core. In response to the initial shock of the pandemic, the Town of Innisfil implemented a variety of responses to relieve the financial burden for residents. Now, we are working with our community to strengthen relationships and supports to carry us through the next 18-24 months.

Community Needs Assessment

In May of 2020, the Town began a community needs assessment to identify emerging challenges as a result of COVID-19. We began the project by surveying residents and community partners to explore what their top concerns were over the short, medium, and long term, and identify how local programs and services have been adapted to respond to emerging community needs. Next, we hosted a series of virtual roundtable discussions that brought people from different organizations together to discuss our findings and gain more insight. In combination, we collaboratively identified 5 priority areas of community concern and potential action items to address each:

1. Mental Health

2. Access to Information (Connectivity, Digital Literacy, and Access to Technology)

3. Economic Security

4. Employment

5. Community Building with Safety Guidelines

What did we do with this information?

This information was used to guide the planning of projects and services, but also to help inform the work of local organizations and agencies. Since the pandemic began, the Town shifted its corporate priorities to target the recommendations that came out of this research. In the past year, we have implemented a series of programs and initiatives targeting the 5 pillars of the needs assessment. To highlight a few:

  • Developed the Helping Hands Program, which provided over 80 families with direct, real-time financial assistance.
  • Successfully hosted two virtual Speak Your Mind Mental Health Summit for youth
  • Worked with the Innisfil Community Foundation and CMHA to develop a free, virtual peer support program
  • Launched a Community Fridge (located at the north entrance of the Innisfil Recreation Complex - 7315 Yonge Street)
  • Launched a social media campaign to highlight local businesses
  • Supported local initiatives that uplift the mental and physical health of residents, including the Innisfil Halloween Decorating Contest, Christmas for Kids toy collection, Fill a Purse for a Sister Campaign, Gilda's Club Lemonade Challenge)
  • Developed free virtual health and wellness programs (e.g. Good Food Box Program, What's Cooking Innisfil?, Healthy Eating on a Budget)
  • Secured $25,000 in funding to increase access to technology and build digital literacy programming for seniors
  • Provided free space for social service agencies to provide support to residents in need
  • Developed more print resources with important community information (e.g. COVID-19 Tax Insert)
  • Built a new community garden and launched a series of new gardening programs
  • Worked with local artists and organizations to enhance outdoor public spaces (e.g. Rizzardo Health and Wellness Center's Window Mural, The Hope Tree at Innisfil Beach Park, The Tree of Life Labyrinth in Cookstown, The Pride Crosswalk at Innisfil Beach Park)
  • Developed the Community First Team, an internal working group to champion the needs of residents
  • Hired a Community First Associate to assist staff in executing community-led recommendations

What's Next?

We have spent the past year responding to the recommendations that came out of initial conversations with residents, but we're ready to check back in with you. We have launched a new survey to determine what has changed, how we can shift our approach to meet existing or emerging needs, and how we can continue to work together to build an Innisfil where everyone feels safe and supported. The survey closes on October 8 and you have the option to enter a draw to win a $100 Visa gift card!

Please note that we are only soliciting feedback from Innisfil residents and non-residents are not eligible to enter the draw. Submissions must be received by 4:59 p.m. on October 8, 2021. View the full contest rules.

If you want to stay updated on the project, please subscribe for updates at the top of this page!

COVID-19 has shaken Innisfil to its core. In response to the initial shock of the pandemic, the Town of Innisfil implemented a variety of responses to relieve the financial burden for residents. Now, we are working with our community to strengthen relationships and supports to carry us through the next 18-24 months.

Community Needs Assessment

In May of 2020, the Town began a community needs assessment to identify emerging challenges as a result of COVID-19. We began the project by surveying residents and community partners to explore what their top concerns were over the short, medium, and long term, and identify how local programs and services have been adapted to respond to emerging community needs. Next, we hosted a series of virtual roundtable discussions that brought people from different organizations together to discuss our findings and gain more insight. In combination, we collaboratively identified 5 priority areas of community concern and potential action items to address each:

1. Mental Health

2. Access to Information (Connectivity, Digital Literacy, and Access to Technology)

3. Economic Security

4. Employment

5. Community Building with Safety Guidelines

What did we do with this information?

This information was used to guide the planning of projects and services, but also to help inform the work of local organizations and agencies. Since the pandemic began, the Town shifted its corporate priorities to target the recommendations that came out of this research. In the past year, we have implemented a series of programs and initiatives targeting the 5 pillars of the needs assessment. To highlight a few:

  • Developed the Helping Hands Program, which provided over 80 families with direct, real-time financial assistance.
  • Successfully hosted two virtual Speak Your Mind Mental Health Summit for youth
  • Worked with the Innisfil Community Foundation and CMHA to develop a free, virtual peer support program
  • Launched a Community Fridge (located at the north entrance of the Innisfil Recreation Complex - 7315 Yonge Street)
  • Launched a social media campaign to highlight local businesses
  • Supported local initiatives that uplift the mental and physical health of residents, including the Innisfil Halloween Decorating Contest, Christmas for Kids toy collection, Fill a Purse for a Sister Campaign, Gilda's Club Lemonade Challenge)
  • Developed free virtual health and wellness programs (e.g. Good Food Box Program, What's Cooking Innisfil?, Healthy Eating on a Budget)
  • Secured $25,000 in funding to increase access to technology and build digital literacy programming for seniors
  • Provided free space for social service agencies to provide support to residents in need
  • Developed more print resources with important community information (e.g. COVID-19 Tax Insert)
  • Built a new community garden and launched a series of new gardening programs
  • Worked with local artists and organizations to enhance outdoor public spaces (e.g. Rizzardo Health and Wellness Center's Window Mural, The Hope Tree at Innisfil Beach Park, The Tree of Life Labyrinth in Cookstown, The Pride Crosswalk at Innisfil Beach Park)
  • Developed the Community First Team, an internal working group to champion the needs of residents
  • Hired a Community First Associate to assist staff in executing community-led recommendations

What's Next?

We have spent the past year responding to the recommendations that came out of initial conversations with residents, but we're ready to check back in with you. We have launched a new survey to determine what has changed, how we can shift our approach to meet existing or emerging needs, and how we can continue to work together to build an Innisfil where everyone feels safe and supported. The survey closes on October 8 and you have the option to enter a draw to win a $100 Visa gift card!

Please note that we are only soliciting feedback from Innisfil residents and non-residents are not eligible to enter the draw. Submissions must be received by 4:59 p.m. on October 8, 2021. View the full contest rules.

If you want to stay updated on the project, please subscribe for updates at the top of this page!

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Page last updated: 21 September 2021, 12:35