The Greenstone region includes five small communities and six First Nations, spread across 3,172 square km., with limited resources for a large geography.
The communities found themselves with decreased staffing due to the pandemic, and they were also under-volunteered since seniors, who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, make up a large portion of Greenstone’s volunteers.
The Greenstone Collaborative has been established for several years already, holding regular meetings to work on local issues. The pandemic brought about a need for organizations to work together, which was a natural fit for collaborative.
- The Greenstone Collaborative decided to meet bi-weekly during the pandemic. The purpose of the meetings would be to share information, identify gaps in services, and to discuss possibilities for ongoing safe and healthy supports to community members.
- Surrounding rural communities were able to leverage the existing virtual platforms that were already in place to support services across the large geography of the area– now also supportive during a pandemic where distance is necessary. The municipality provided a web space to upload service provider updates and information.
- The Collaborative worked together to maintain wellness of front line staff by sharing information and resources on how to support team members through the pandemic.
- The Collaborative was also an effective table to share and disperse new and needed information, for example, that food hampers were being delivered in community and registration was occurring via People Advocating for Change through Empowerment.
- The OPP helped bridge numerous gaps, including distributing essential safety resources, harm reduction information and kits to those in need.
- Initiated by the Geraldton District Hospital and TBDSAAB, the first isolation center in the District of Thunder Bay (East) was opened in Geraldton, with all partners prepared to provide support and services as needed.
- Greenstone Collaborative increased frequency of meetings.
- Leveraged existing virtual platforms for connection, communication and service delivery.
- Information sharing across Greenstone.
- Opened an isolation shelter with partnership and provider commitments.
- Greater integration to meet the needs of community members.
For more information on Greenstone Collaborative, please, contact: Nicole Beaulieu Nicole.Beaulieu@nosp.on.ca