COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact on those most vulnerable, creating a greater need for community-based organizations. To help these Canadians, the Government of Canada will provide additional support to charities and non-profit organizations through the Emergency Community Support Fund. The ECSF will fund organizations who reach vulnerable populations through: activities to provide or support food security, financial wellness, health and hygiene, home care or personal support services, information and navigation, legal supports, mental health and wellness, shelter, safety, social inclusion and learning, transportation, and other similar interventions though community outreach and engagement, delivering new models, tools, programming, services or resources, disseminating information and knowledge, volunteer engagement and recruitment, and other similar activities.

The ECSF will continue to support activities that:

  • address a pressing social inclusion or well-being need caused by COVID-19,
  • serve one or more vulnerable populations during COVID-19,
  • can be carried out in a short timeframe (from date of signature to March 31, 2021) with a reasonable budget; and
  • have not secured funds to cover the costs of the activities for which they have applied from another intermediary, another federal COVID-19 response program or a different source.
  • Increase volunteer-based home deliveries of groceries and medications
  • Provide transportation services, like accompanying or driving seniors or persons with disabilities to appointments
  • Scaling up help lines that provide information and support
  • Help vulnerable Canadians access government benefits
  • Provide training, supplies, and other required supports to volunteers so they can continue to make their invaluable contributions to the COVID-19 response
  • Replace in-person, one-on-one contact and social gatherings with virtual contact through phone calls, texts, teleconferences, or the Internet


United Way Centraide Canada, Community Foundations of Canada and Red Cross Canada are the three named national partners.  


Quick Facts

  • COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations who may be less able to deal with the health, social, and economic impacts of the pandemic. Risks of stress, hardship, and abuse are expected to rise as people become unable to access the social and community supports on which they rely in their everyday lives.
  • The Emergency Community Support Fund will provide funding to national intermediaries with networks across the country, including United Way Canada, the Canadian Red Cross, and the Community Foundations of Canada.
  • These partners will disburse funds to local community-based organizations working with vulnerable populations, including seniors, persons with disabilities, members of LGBTQ2 communities, veterans, newcomers, women, children and youth, and members of Indigenous communities and racialized communities, such as Black Canadians.
  • This announcement builds on the work that has been done for vulnerable Canadians, including increased support for those experiencing homelessness, help for women and children fleeing violence, counselling services for children and youth, and support for seniors.
  • Charities and non-profit organizations are also able to apply for the 75 per cent wage subsidy that the government announced on March 27, 2020.

Guidelines for Organizations Seeking ECSF Funds


Si vous avez des questions ou souhaitez présenter une demande de financement au Fonds d’urgence pour l’appui communautaire en français, veuillez communiquer avec nous à FUAC-demande@centraide.ca.  


The Atlantic Compassion Fund

The Atlantic Compassion Fund was our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Established by Tom Rose, the President of Atlantic Business Interiors, with a generous offer to match up to $100,000 in initial donations, the fund helped agencies across the Atlantic Canada respond to the unique, immediate and emerging needs of their local communities. This local response kicked off in mid-March within a couple days of the provincial state of emergency. As far as we know, it was the first COVID-19 relief fund in Canada. 

As of July 31, 2020 United Way Newfoundland and Labrador was able to support 69 different COVID-19 response programs across the entire province, distributing almost $242,000 to organizations who help people who needed it most. Homelessness, food insecurity, mental illness, and precarious employment are already really difficult things to have to experience. With public health measures across the region in response to COVID-19, people who were already vulnerable faced major disruptions and new risks. Things like a lack of access to food, medicine and transportation, the closure of public spaces, lost wages, and inability to connect with family, friends or care providers can take already challenge circumstances to unmanageable extremes.

THANK YOU to these community donors for supporting the Atlantic Compassion Fund, helping our province to see the LocalLove: Atlantic Business Interiors, Bell Canada, Canadian Tire, Emera, HR Project Partners, Husky Energy, Medavie Blue Cross, Scotiabank, The Co-operators and Registered Nurses’ Union NL.

Click here for a list of Atlantic Compassion Fund recipients in NL



Funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program, United Way Newfoundland & Labrador entered a partnership with SeniorsNL and Red Cross Newfoundland & Labrador.

SeniorsNL Partnership: With the investment of $100,000, SeniorsNL utilized their specially trained volunteers and have a website and telephone line to respond to COVID-19 needs for seniors throughout our province who require support during the current Public Health Emergency.

Canadian Red Cross in Newfoundland & Labrador Partnership:  An investment of $30,000 helped the Canadian Red Cross in Newfoundland & Labrador accelerate the development and implementation of the Telephone Assurance Program that included regular calls with seniors to provide safety and well-being checks, while providing a friendly voice for much-needed social interaction. The funds will also helped enhance their Meals-on-Wheels Program, which delivers hot meals to seniors in the St. John’s area, and recruit and train additional volunteers. This program helps enable seniors to stay safely in their own homes longer.

To reach The Canadian Red Cross in Newfoundland & Labrador’s COVID-19 response line please call 1-800-863-6582 daily between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Their team can provide general advice on self-isolation and other COVID-19 preventative measures. Should the caller have a more urgent need such as being self-isolated and unable to leave their home to get food, medications, or some other essential need, the call is escalated to the  Virtual Operations Team which will conduct a registration and needs assessment and refer them to relevant local resources to respond.