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$3 million redirected from HomeWarming Program to address urgent needs during COVID-19

The money will fund organizations that deliver prepared meals, operate soup kitchens, help the homeless and provide other services
province house
Province House (Chris Halef/HalifaxToday.ca)

NEWS RELEASE
COVID-19/ENERGY/MINES
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Nova Scotia's most vulnerable families, seniors and youth will receive additional support for food, shelter, basic necessities and staying connected during the province's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nova Scotia Power, EfficiencyOne and the province are redirecting $3 million from the HomeWarming program to fund organizations that deliver prepared meals, operate soup kitchens, help the homeless and provide other services. Nova Scotia Power has contributed $1 million, while EfficiencyOne is providing $2 million of provincial funding for the program.

"Nova Scotians are doing a tremendous job of stepping up to support and care for their neighbours during this difficult time, and we want to make sure no one is left behind," said Energy and Mines Minister Derek Mombourquette. "We know there are gaps and challenges including increased demand at a time when we are seeing a shortage of staff and volunteers. That's why we are providing more support for this vital work."

HomeWarming normally provides free home energy assessments and upgrades for low-income Nova Scotians. COVID-19 restrictions mean this work won't be happening for the time being. Approved projects will go ahead once the restrictions are lifted and applications are still being processed and accepted.

"Now is not the time to unnecessarily have workers coming into your home, it is a time to stay home and social distance," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health. "The fact that this funding can be repurposed to help those in need tells us that a lot of people understand they need to follow public health direction to slow the spread of the virus and saves lives."

Quotes:
"Supporting the communities we serve and assisting those most in need has never been more important. I am so pleased that together, our teams at Nova Scotia Power, EfficiencyOne and the Nova Scotia Government have been able to find ways to provide additional support to Nova Scotians."
     - Wayne O'Connor, president and CEO, Nova Scotia Power

"We know these are uncertain times for so many Nova Scotians and repurposing HomeWarming funds in this way will allow us to continue to help those who are most in need.
     - Stephen MacDonald, CEO, EfficiencyOne

"United Ways are nimble, knowledgeable about local needs and ready to ensure this investment will have meaningful and timely impact on the lives of those who need support most. Through our Atlantic Compassion Fund, we have already provided funding to 80 frontline programs across Nova Scotia that are helping people in need of safe shelter, food, connection or mental health care to make it through this crisis. The funding announced today will enable us to do more to meet our communities' needs and help the most vulnerable Nova Scotians make it through this."
     - Sara Napier, president and CEO, United Way Halifax

Quick Facts:
-- prepared meal delivery services, such as Meals on Wheels and the VON's Frozen Favorites, will receive $1.36 million to help hire staff, buy food and make meal deliveries
-- the United Way will receive $1 million for its Atlantic Compassion Fund to help vulnerable families and youth in Nova Scotia
-- shelters, soup kitchens and other service organizations will receive $400,000
-- Seniors' Safety Programs and Community Links will receive $180,000 and $60,000 respectively to help meet the needs of vulnerable older Nova Scotians

Additional Resources:
Government of Nova Scotia COVID-19 Information: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/

Government of Canada COVID-19 Information: https://canada.ca/coronavirus

HomeWarming program: https://homewarming.ca/
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