1. COVID-19 update - find services, resources, news
Survive, learn, madly!
- COVID-19 - Update
- COVID-19 Resources
- COVID-19 News
- Free Events
- Crackdown Podcast - Recovery
[Enable pictures at the top of email to see pictures]
2. COVID-19 Resources
For City Services - Check the city of Toronto website
- Shelters and respites are open. More hotels are beds are opening up to isolate people with COVID-19 or suspected of contact. City says the staff has training and the shelters will be safe, but they are trying to create more space.
- 3 employment and social services offices are open
- Public Health, Police, Fire, Ambulance, Water, key city staff are working
- Non-essential businesses
- Libraries, community centres, city services (weddings, licences etc.)
- Provincial offences courts, ticket courts and counters
This map shows downtown resources like food banks, washrooms, drop-ins and COVID-19 assessment centres:
Caremongering TO - helping other members of their community with with money, ideas for immediate needs. Facebook group.
- GST credit for low income people increase to $400 ($600 for a couple) April 9th
- Canada Child Benefit will increase $300 per child
- (CERB) Canada Emergency Response Benefit will provide $2000 to employees, small business owners and other workers who would not qualify for EI.
Health - COVID-19
The novel coronavirus (SARS-2) causes the condition known as COVID-19. The symptoms range from common to severe respiratory illnesses and include:
If you have mild symptoms call Telehealth for Medical Advice - 1866-797-0000 . Do not go directly to your doctor.
- Muscle aches and tiredness
- Difficulty breathing
Physical / Social Distancing is important but impossible for many survivors
- New law in Toronto says that if you are in a city park within 2 metres with someone who you do not live with you can be ticketed from $750 and above.
- You must also identify yourself to a police on demand. If you do not have ID explain this.
- There are programs that may help you fight these tickets. Sound Times members should call our staff. Legal Aid Ontario clinics may also help. If you are a youth
- "Remain, for longer than an incidental period, closer than 2 metres to any other person who is not a member of the same household;" TORONTO Bylaw on distancing in parks and squares.
- Clean your hands
- Don’t share gear
- Prep your own drugs
- Get extra harm reduction supplies
- Avoid putting drug baggies/wraps in your mouth, anus
- Work with your Methadone/Suboxone/OAT Prescriber
- Prepare for unplanned withdrawal (dealer gets sick)
- Respond to overdose
Contact Sound Times if you are a member in need of LAO support.
Shelters and Housing
Evictions are suspended
- Landlord Tenant Board is not available, evictions are not supposed to be enforced. Let us know if landlords are still trying to evict. There is at least one case in west Toronto.
There have been at least 2 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto's shelters. The city has set up a 40 bed isolation building. The city has also brought 350 new beds online through shelters and hotels.
Service is still available by phone at Homeless shelter intake/Central Intake Line 416-338-4766
- Lots of other tips about surviving COVID-19 - kill COVID with regular soap and water. Keep physical distance from others and consider wiping down surfaces.
Reach out for a friendly ear: Isolation can be hard
. You can call and text for help or to hear a warm voice!
Toronto Public Health: Residents experiencing stress or crisis and requiring emotional support related to COVID-19 can access the following community resources:
- Distress Centre of Greater Toronto
Call 416-408-4357, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Text 45645 between 4 p.m. and midnight
Translation is available in many languages for crisis calls only
- Kids Help Phone
Call 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Service is available in English and French
- Gerstein Crisis Centre
416- 929-5200, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Translation is available in many languages
Public Resource Lists
- resources for folks with disabilities.
- Plus a warm phone line. Peer Support Program / Parenting with a Disability Network (416) 599-2458 Extension 291 or Email email@example.com
The 519 - Resource lists
- This is a good time to check in with someone!
Self-Management And Recovery Training (SMART) is a global community of mutual-support groups. At meetings, participants help one another resolve problems with any addiction
3. COVID-19 News
Get the news from trusted sources. Check any claim about "cures" "causes" "treatments" that you see on social media.
CBC.ca has around the clock coverage on COVID-19. And all of the other networks are covering it. The Toronto Star has free coverage of COVID-19, for a good Toronto Perspective. Be sure to take some breaks because the news can bring you down or wind you up.
NOW had a great issue last week about RENT
Things are changing so fast...masks, no masks, masks for individuals in public...maybe. YES you might want to wear a mask inside buildings and the TTC to protect others and yourself (keep washing your hands)....
4. Events - Social Distancing
Always check before heading out to an event. Legally events of under 5 people are permitted (as of writing) but many are cancelled for safety. Some of us are actually experts at surviving and thriving in isolation.
Survivors talk about experiences of isolation and worry
The Dulwich Centre Published "From us to you" Narrative Responses to COVID-19"
I was forcibly isolated in psychiatric services, and frankly it was terrifying for me. I don't feel that way about the need to isolate for Covid19, in fact I don't think I would mind if we are all required to isolate ourselves at home. I'm not sure why it feels different. In both cases, the choice is not in my hands, so it can't just be that. Maybe it feels different because being isolated in a mental health service felt both unnecessary and abusive. It certainly didn't keep anyone safe, if anything it caused harm. But, I think isolating ourselves because of Covid19 is a sensible step.
How about an advocacy party?
Advocate for tenants and low income folks with ACORN
Send this urgent message to your Premier, Prime Minister Trudeau and your local MPs, MLAs and MPPs.q
From the Toronto Drop In Network
Resources and Open Letters
Let us know if you have more ideas or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drug users in British Columbia are facing two overlapping public health emergencies: COVID-19 and the overdose crisis. Now that countries are closing their borders–the price of street drugs have also started to rise. It’s a grim time. Vancouver just saw the largest spike in fatal ODs since last year.
But there’s also a glimmer of hope: the government has finally agreed to provide us with safer prescription alternatives to street drugs. If you have a “Substance Use Disorder” in British Columbia, you can now access a bunch of prescription opioids, benzos and stimulants –something we’ve been demanding for years.
Resources for Consumer / Survivors / People who use substances / Service and Substance Users / Fun Folks in TORONTO AREA
#22 - 621 April 6 2020 COVID-19 edition
Subscribe For Free!
Where we post even more information and resources.The Bulletin is free to receive. We are only publishing electronically as of July 2019.
Thank you to our Donors.
We are grateful to an anonymous group of donors who represent and support grassroot groups who fight against the "main-isms" (racism, sexism, homophobia and more).
We will keep up the fight against the "isms" including saneism and ableism!
Want to donate to Sound Times? soundtimes.com/donate-to-sound-times/
All previous issues are available on our website: www.soundtimes.com/bulletin
The Bulletin is published monthly by Sound Times Support Services. Funding for this Consumer/Survivor initiative has been provided by the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).
Disclaimer: The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the Toronto Central LHIN, the Government of Ontario, Sound Times Support Services Staff or Board Members.
Thanks: to survey participants, callers and emailers and the C/S Info Bulletin Team.
Go green; get The Bulletin by email! Bulletin@soundtimes.com
And that is all!