Local Non-Profits, Charities in Danger of Shutting Down

Non-profits and charities across Canada, including in Wood Buffalo, are in danger of closing their doors.

The COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe and has forced many organizations to cancel events, temporarily shut down, and in some cases stop their operations.

Locally, fundraising events have been canceled while many groups are seeing an increase in the number of people they support.

Chantal Beaver, Executive Director of FuseSocial, tells Mix News the pandemic, along with the economy and the aftermath of the wildfire, is leaving a big toll on the sector.

“I’m hoping that I’m wrong, I really hope that I’m wrong, but in the foreseeable future – the conversations that we’ve been having at a national, provincial, and regional level – it’s a strong possibility.”

According to Imagine Canada, an organization that provides programs and resources to non-profits and charities, the sector could lose around $9.5 billion in three months of physical distancing.

Around 117,000 are also expected to be laid off.

Cindy Amerongen, Executive Director of the Northern Lights Health Foundation, says even if these groups stay open they won’t be able to help as many as they once did.

“That means you see more domestic violence, you see more crime, you see more homelessness… you see a social network that spirals a bit out of control.”

To avoid this from happening, the sector is asking for supports from all levels of government.

“We need to be cognizant that essential services looks a little different for social profits, the same due diligence that’s being paid to business needs to be paid to us,” added Beaver.

Right now, the government of Canada is providing funds for wages if a non-profit or charity has lost 30 per cent of its revenue.

Also, Wood Buffalo council is reaching out to the federal and provincial governments to set up additional supports.

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