While COVID-19 has impacted all of us, there are individuals who may be at a greater risk of poor health from COVID-19 due to factors such as age, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, existing health conditions, ability, income, transportation, social isolation, or difficulty accessing culturally appropriate health services. This section is for individuals who may need extra support and also for the agencies and caregivers who provide support to individuals at risk during COVID-19.

Continue to check the Government of Canada and Ontario websites as these provide updated information on funding for individuals negatively impacted and who require extra support.

How can I get information on:

Services for Older Adults At Home During COVID-19

The Family Counselling Centre (FCC) and Lambton Public Health (LPH) have partnered to create a single-point access for older adults in Lambton County to connect to services for health, social, or other needs. The new Care Pathway for Older Adults will allow older adults, caregivers, and family members to call one number to access a wide array of support services to help them thrive at home while reducing their risk for COVID-19. Callers will be referred to the most suitable program in Lambton County based on their needs.

To access the Care Pathway for Older Adults call the Family Counselling Centre at 519-336-0120. Ext 251. For more information on this and other programs, visit the Family Counselling Centre’s website.

Community Events & Volunteering Safely

Considering holding a community event or food drive? Review our recommendations here or contact vulnerablepopulations@county-lambton.on.ca for more information. 
Guidelines for Outdoor Special Events – A thorough list of considerations for outdoor events that would include charitable functions
Guidelines for Indoor Special Events – A thorough list of considerations for indoor events that would include charitable functions
Guidance for Food Assistance and Emergency Food Programs – For those receiving and distributing food donations during COVID-19
Training Resources and Supports – A curated list of videos and training documents for organizers and volunteers participating in events 
Guidance for Food Donations During COVID-19 – Measures for donating safely

 Interested in staying connected or giving back through volunteering? 
 Find volunteer opportunities at SPARK Ontario
To volunteer safely: 
Consider your own health before volunteering. If you are at greater risk of poor health from COVID-19, you may want to consider ways of volunteering that do not increase your potential for contact with COVID-19. There are many ways to give back to your community, for more ways to help go to #LambtonStrong.
Stay home if you’re sick. Screen yourself for COVID-19 symptoms or this Screening Tool before participating. If you have any of the symptoms, stay home. 
Practice physical distancing with individuals outside your social circle. 
Wear a mask or face covering if distancing is not possible or you must enter someone’s home. 
Wash your hands frequently, and before and after interacting with someone.
If you’re dropping something off call or text to let them know their items are at the door. If face to face contact is necessary, remember to practice physical distancing. 

Income, Employment, & Work

Social Services can help you to cover the cost of basic needs such as food or shelter and access Ontario Works. For inquiries please call 519-344-2057 or email socialservices@county-lambton.on.ca
Financial help is available, answer a few simple questions to find out what benefits you are eligible for from the provincial and federal governments. 

CERB (Coronavirus Emergency Response Benefit) ended as of October 3. If you are still in need of financial support, you may be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI). 
If you were receiving CERB, you may be eligible for one of the new recovery benefits retroactive to September 27, 2020 and available until September 25, 2021. Find out how you can apply at the Canadian Government’s website

Food, Medication, & Accessing Healthcare

Accessing food and medication:
• Grocery stores and pharmacies offer delivery services, find a location close to you.
• Food banks provider food to those in need, find a food bank near you
• The Mobile Market runs July-November, find a stop near you. 
• Meals on Wheels delivers a variety of meals right to your door. 
• Garden Fresh Box is a low cost food box program with pickup sites throughout Lambton County. For a location near you, call Lambton Public Health at 519-383-8331 ext. 3111.
• If you are an emergency food provider, COVID-19-related guidance is available. 
Accessing healthcare: 
• Ontario has waived the 3 month waiting period of Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage. 
• COVID-19 costs for uninsured people will also be covered. 
• A list of urgent care locations (other than the hospital) are available on the Healthcare Provider page

Housing & Transportation

Need help finding housing? Call County of Lambton Housing Services at 519-344-2062 ext. 2200. 
Need help with tenancy-related issues such as eviction or needing repairs? Call Community Legal Assistance Sarnia at 519-332-8055 or 1-888-916-2527. 

Fact sheets for reducing the risk for COVID-19 for: 
Multi-Unit Residential Building Managers
Multi-Unit Building Residents
Fact sheet for using taxis, ride shares, and public transportation during COVID-19. 

Mental Health, Substance Use, & Abuse Services 

Have you been struggling with your mental health and well-being? Free services are available: 

Local Services 
Canadian Mental Health Association Lambton-Kent – recovery-focused programs and services for people 15+ and their families. Call 519-337-5411
◦ Mental Health First Response Line (24/7) – 519-336-3445 or 1-800-307-4319
Family Counselling Centre – professional counselling, support, and coordination services. Call 519-336-0120
◦ Distress Line (24/7) – 519-336-3000 or 1-888-347-8737
St. Clair Child and Youth Services – professional mental health services and walk-in clinics for children 0-18 and their families. Call 519-337-3701. 
Bluewater Health Community Withdrawal Management – help withdrawing from drugs or alcohol. Call 519-332-4673.
Lambton Public Health – non-judgemental services and harm reduction supplies. Call 519-383-8331.
North Lambton Community Health Centre – variety of community services including harm reduction and mental health supports. Contact information at North Lambton Community Health Centre and St. Joseph’s Hospice – 519-337-0537
• Concerned about abuse? Services are still available across the lifespan (some 24/7).

Provincial & National Services 
Kids Help Phone (under 20 years old) – 1-888-668-6868
Good 2 Talk (17-25 years old) – 1-866-925-5454
Connex Addiction, Mental Health and Gambling Helpline – 1-866-531-2600
Crisis Text Line – Text HOME to 686868
Hope for Wellness First Nation and Inuit Helpline – 1-855-242-3310
Website Resources
Mental Health & the COVID-19 Pandemic – Centre for Addiction and Mental Health strategies to maintain your mental health during COVID-19
Wellness Together – Government of Canada online platform that connects you to mental health and substance use support, resources, and counselling with a mental health professional
Big White Wall – 24/7 anonymous online platform for mental health peer support
BounceBack Ontario – guided self-help program using workbooks, videos, and phone coaching
Mindyourmind – interactive tools and resources to build capacity and resilience for youth and young adults
Coping with Stress, Anxiety and Substance Use During COVID-19 – Infographic from Canadian Centre on Substance Use & Addiction

Staying Connected

Do you know someone who could use some help staying connected with others?
There are free services available: 
• The Tel-Check Program can provide regular phone calls to seniors, people with disabilities and people who may live alone or with their families/caregivers.
Lambton County Connects is a free phone based program and a way for isolated community members to participate in social activities.
• The Ontario Caregiver Association offers free resources, a helpline, and live chat for those caring for loved ones, including tips during COVID-19.

First Nation, Metis & Inuit Services

Lambton Public Health’s service area is located on the territories of many Indigenous peoples and provides services to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people living in urban and rural communities. We recognize and value First Nations, Métis, and Inuit healing practices and the work of local Healers and Elders. Listed below are resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic from local organizations as well as from the federal and provincial organizations.   
Health Services
First check with local healers and elders in your community. There are supports locally you may wish to contact for information related to COVID-19:
E’Mino Bmaad-Zijig Gamig (Aamjiwnaang Health Centre)
Kettle & Stony Point Health Services
The Walpole Island Health Centre
• Sarnia Lambton Native Friendship Centre in Sarnia at 519-344-6164 or email info@slnfc.org
Lambton College Indigenous Student Centre
Other Relevant COVID-19 Resources
Chiefs of Ontario
Ontario Native Women’s Association
Assembly of First Nations
• Government of Canada Indigenous YouTube channel
COVID-19: How Indigenous people can access services and benefits
• The Government of Canada has released information to support First Nation and Inuit people in preparing, monitoring, and responding to COVID-19.
• Access information sheets in other languages, including some Indigenous languages, that will tell you how to protect yourself from COVID-19 and what to do if you think you have COVID-19.
• Shkaabe Makwa partnered with CAMH to create a poster about self-care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Accessibility Needs

For some of us there are physical and intellectual limitations that make the COVID-19 pandemic even more stressful. Watch this short video for more information on how to keep our loved ones safe.
To help understand other hardships experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic view this short video with Dr. Sudit Ranade Medical Officer of Health, discussing the COVID-19 pandemic with Dan Edwards, motivational speaker.
Sector specific guidance for Group Homes during COVID-19 is updated regularly on its own website.
For additional information about the resources available in Lambton County visit:
Lambton County Developmental Services
Community Living Sarnia-Lambton
Pathways Health Centre for Children
Ontario Disability Support Program (Sarnia)
Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities

Newcomers, Immigrants, & Refugees

Info sheets on COVID-19 and how to stay safe in multiple languages from Ottawa Public Health. 
The YMCA Learning and Career Centre is offering virtual services to all newcomers in the Sarnia-Lambton Community.

Ask a Question

Fill out the form below if you have a question about COVID-19 and vulnerable populations.