COVID-19 - Get vaccinated and stay up to date, and find public health advice for residents.

Community and Social Services

Help Seniors Stay Safe at Home

If you know a senior with limited / no support, and difficulty getting essential supplies, call Niagara Gatekeepers at 905-684-0968

Niagara Gatekeepers

Niagara Region is working with the community to ensure residents are connected to resources, services, programs and support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This information will be updated as it becomes available.

Programs and services

  • Emergency shelters

    Shelters in Niagara are still operating, but have implemented a number of protocols consistent with public health guidelines. This is to ensure the safety of individuals experiencing homelessness, and the staff who support them during this pandemic emergency.

    To access an emergency shelter, contact the shelter.

  • Financial assistance

    Niagara Region's Social assistance and Employment Opportunities staff continue to provide critical services, including financial benefits and supports to our low-income clients and vulnerable residents.

    Learn about Ontario Works.

    For people not currently receiving Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program:

    Emergency assistance is available for people facing a crisis or emergency situation who have no access to other supports. This includes those who are waiting for benefits from the federal government, such as Employment Insurance and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

    To apply:

    Complete the initial assessment online or by phone at 905-641-9230. If you're in west Niagara, call 1-866-627-1110. Basic information will be collected and can take up to 30 minutes.

    A staff member will contact you within four business days to complete an eligibility assessment over the phone.

    Find financial help during COVID-19 through the Government of Canada.

  • Food

    We're working with community organizations to provide up-to-date information on food banks, meal programs and emergency food programs in Niagara.

  • Mental health

    We know these are challenging times for all of us and your mental wellbeing is important. Mental health supports are available for children, youth and adults by phone and online.

  • Parenting support

    Parenting is hard and can be even more stressful during the pandemic. Visit Niagara Parents for resources, online classes, and information on babies, children and teens.

    Free child-care for school-aged children of health care and eligible frontline workers is available during school closures.

    Select Emergency Child Care when applying. You will be contacted directly by the child care centre once a space becomes available. There are a limited number of spaces.

    Apply for child care.

  • Seniors outreach

    During this time, we want to ensure our elderly neighbours in the community have support.

    If you don't have any symptoms associated with COVID-19 and know of a senior living in your neighbourhood, a friendly check-in might help identify someone at risk. Ensure you practice proper physical distancing, such as staying two metres (six feet) away from the front door after knocking.

    If your neighbour is at risk for the following, call Niagara Gatekeepers at 905-684-0968:

    • Limited or no support from family or friends at this time
    • Difficulty accessing essential supplies, such as food, medication, personal hygiene and housekeeping supplies
    • Difficulty getting to urgent, unavoidable medical appointments
    • Expressed feeling alone or secluded

    The Niagara Gatekeepers referral line is available in English and French from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., all year round.

    Information provided will be forwarded to a partner agency who will contact the senior and arrange services to help the senior maintain independence and stay safe at home.

    Some essential businesses in the community are offering specialized hours to serve vulnerable residents, such as seniors, during COVID-19. Check with your local pharmacy or grocery store for hours.


For information on social and community supports, call 211 or visit inCommunities.

211 works closely with community agencies to provide up-to-date programming and resource information.

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