New Horizons for Seniors Program – COVID-19

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

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All New Horizons for Seniors Program recipients

Please contact your funding representative if your project is affected by COVID-19.

Additional investment of $20 million

On May 12, 2020, the Government of Canada announced an additional investment of $20 million in the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) during the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will support organizations that offer community-based projects that reduce isolation, improve the quality of life of seniors, and help them maintain a social support network during the pandemic.

Our goal is to invest the funding in community-based projects as equitably and quickly as possible across the country to help seniors during the pandemic. To meet these objectives, we are currently working with organizations that applied to the NHSP’s 2019 to 2020 call for proposals to identify new projects eligible for funding.

Email surveys were sent to approximately 4,000 organizations from the 2019 to 2020 call for proposals on June 2, 2020, to identify eligible projects. Organizations could receive up to $25,000 of funding to offer immediate COVID-19 relief or recovery activities to seniors. We anticipate being able to fund projects as early as July 2020. We are working with these known and previously-assessed organizations, to ensure that funding is quickly and equitably distributed to communities while also maintaining rigor and accountability.

Eligible activities

Eligible activities include those that focus on:

  • preventing seniors’ social isolation in a time of recommended social distancing / self-quarantine by promoting computer literacy and virtual activities, such as exercise classes, among seniors
  • supporting seniors who are self-isolating at home, including the delivery of food and medication or personalized monitoring of seniors to ensure their needs are met and to provide moral support (by phone or by videoconference platform)
  • assisting seniors to undertake essential activities, such as visits to the doctor
  • assisting community organizations to provide the types of support listed above, including hiring staff to replace a loss of volunteerism capacity due to the outbreak (many volunteers are seniors that need to self-isolate)
  • providing information to seniors regarding how to care for themselves in light of experiences relating to the pandemic
  • providing training to seniors or to seniors-serving organizations on topics such as disease prevention, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), or preparing for transition after social-distancing restrictions are lifted
  • supporting the ability of seniors to stay connected with their community and their family, including through smart phones and tablets and remote tutorials by community organizations, or,
  • undertaking other activities not listed above, such as activities related to mental health, fraud prevention or financial empowerment, as long as they provide direct support to seniors in relation to COVID-19 relief or recovery and are aligned with the NHSP’s program objectives

Eligible organizations

The NHSP only provides funding to community-based organizations, and not to individuals.

For the moment, we are working with previously-assessed organizations that submitted a funding proposal through the 2019 to 2020 call for proposals to ensure that funding is quickly distributed to communities.

New organizations will be solicited in areas without projects and where existing projects cannot be expanded.

If your organization is interested in applying for next year's funding, we encourage you to apply through the upcoming 2020 to 2021 call for proposals that will occur later this year. The date has been deferred until the fall.

Funding decisions

We anticipate that funding decisions will be made in early July 2020. Organizations could start their project activities in July 2020, after setting up an agreement with the Department.

Expansion of eligible activities for 2019 to 2020 recipients

Effective immediately, Service Canada is offering 2019 to 2020 NHSP community-based recipients the flexibility to use their approved funding for eligible activity expenditures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, regardless of the nature of the originally-approved project.

Extension of final report deadline for 2018 to 2019 recipients

Effective immediately, all 2018 to 2019 NHSP community-based recipients have an extension to the deadline for their Final Report. The new deadline is now December 31, 2020.

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