The Northern Ontario Service Deliverers Association (NOSDA) is looking to meet with several provincial cabinet ministers on a variety of issues, including homelessness.
The association, which includes the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board, is asking the province to maintain the current Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) funding allocations as a minimum threshold and that additional funds be allocated based on a strategic response to demonstrated need.
“NOSDA members are concerned with the current allocation method used by the province under the Social Services Relief Fund. The funding formula for the Social Services Relief Fund does not appear to be based on evidence and/or statistical data and in the attempt to appear equitable has precluded a strategic response to actual need,” states a release. “NOSDA members are concerned that the province will look at a new funding allocation for the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) and Home for Good programs which may mirror the Social Services Relief Fund allocations.”
Meantime, NOSDA will be meeting with Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions at the 2021 AMO conference to discuss the significant access issues and wait-lists for Mental Health and Addictions services impacting communities and clients in Northern Ontario.
Another issue they’re looking to set up a meeting over includes discharge planning at correctional facilities.
“The Ministry of the Solicitor General made difficult decisions during the COVID-19 Pandemic around the release of inmates and individuals from the Correctional System for Health and Safety Reasons,” states a release from NOSDA.
The association says some people were released into homelessness which put a strain on emergency shelters, homelessness systems and community safety and wellbeing plans.
They also say the pandemic has highlighted the importance of having adequate housing infrastructure and various partnerships.
The focus of the NOSDA resolution is ensuring the safety of the individual and the broader community.
Modernizing paramedic services is another issue NOSDA is looking to meet with the province to discuss.
They’re looking for a delegation with Christine Elliott, Minister of Health.
“Further be it resolved that any modernization of Emergency Health Services ensures that the 144 municipalities across Northern Ontario have a say in the provision of services within their catchment area,” states a NOSDA resolution. “And further be it resolved that any modernization of Emergency Health Services does not increase the current municipal share of Emergency Health Services.”
Another request is to discuss social assistance reform with Marilee Fullerton, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services.
“NOSDA members are cautiously optimistic on the province’s vision as it makes some important moves in the right direction and the province’s willingness to co-design the new system with NOSDA members is encouraging,” states a release.
The association is asking for clear definitions around certain topics like Life Stabilization.
They’re also asking the Premier to immediately start working on simplification of the Social Services System.