The Prime Minister announced new funding Sunday to help seniors and children affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, pledging $16.5 million to both United Way Canada and Kids Help Phone.

“It’s a very welcome and positive announcement,” says Joan Fisk, the CEO of United Way Waterloo Region Communities. “We were really pleased to hear that.”

United Way Canada will receive $9 million to distribute to its organizations across the country.

The funding will help seniors who need items delivered them and connect them to other community groups.

Meanwhile other local organizations, who haven’t been given any federal funding, are continuing to support each other and vulnerable residents.

The Kitchener Waterloo YWCA operates a shelter for women and families, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of them have had to move to motels. Their overflow shelter has also been deemed unsafe.

That’s when the YMCA stepped in to help, offering space at the A.R. Kaufman location on Carwood Avenue and Courtland Avenue East in Kitchener.

“We said we have buildings, we have space, is there something we can do?” says Peter Sweeney, the CEO for the YMCA’s of Cambridge and Kitchener-Waterloo.

Between 50 and 60 people have been spending the night at the YMCA. Sleeping areas have been spaced out by several metres as recommended by health agencies.

Food banks in Waterloo Region are also pitching in by providing meals.

The YMCA, YWCA and Food Bank of Waterloo Region say people have been reaching out to provide extra assistance. The best to do that is by donating any extra resources or making a financial donation.