New Horizons for Seniors Program projects can now be used for COVID-19 support

Employment and Social Development Canada

April 6, 2020 Employment and Social Development Canada

During the COVID-19 pandemic, seniors may feel lonely, scared and disconnected from their loved ones and their communities. They need new kinds of support in these difficult times.  

Today, the Honourable Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors, announced flexibility for organizations under the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) to use funding previously received through the community-based stream to provide immediate and essential services to seniors impacted by COVID-19. Regardless of the nature of the previously approved project, organizations with approved projects in 2019-2020 can now use their funding to provide support for seniors’ needs due to COVID-19.

Activities can start immediately and can include:

  • supporting seniors in staying connected with their community and family by providing electronic devices, virtual activities and remote tutorials;
  • supporting the delivery of food and medication to self-isolated seniors at home;
  • assisting seniors to undertake essential activities, such as visits to the doctor;
  • hiring staff to replace a loss of a senior volunteer due to the outbreak;
  • providing information to seniors regarding how to care for themselves during the pandemic

In addition, NHSP recipients who will not or cannot provide programs or services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will be given more time to conclude their approved projects. Instead of the usual 12-month period, organizations will now have up to two years to finish their projects.  

The NHSP provides grants and contributions for projects that help improve the well-being of seniors and foster their social inclusion. As of March 31, 2020, 2,166 projects were funded based on a call for proposals that was launched on May 15, 2019.