Support for vulnerable Nova Scotians

NOTE: Photos of Community Services Minister Kelly Regan and representatives from the Salvation Army can be found here:

Vulnerable Nova Scotians will continue to have the resources and protection they need during the pandemic, thanks to $11.5 million in funding from the federal Safe Restart Agreement.

Community groups and organizations that support vulnerable Nova Scotians have received funds so they can help those who need it most.

The Salvation Army received $3.5 million for their new Nova Scotia COVID Relief Fund, which will help Nova Scotians with lower incomes impacted by the pandemic catch up on their heating or power bills. The maximum rebate is $400 and the funding is expected to help about 8,000 households.

“We know many Nova Scotians have faced financial hardship throughout the pandemic. This funding will help organizations support Nova Scotians during the recovery,” said Community Services Minister Kelly Regan. “I want to thank the staff of these organizations as they support Nova Scotians in need.”

The department used $700,000 to purchase phones for Disability Support Program participants living independently, to reduce isolation and enhance communications with the program. As well, $1.7 million was used for COVID-19 related respite support for participants of the Disability Support Program who live at home with family and whose needs increased due to the pandemic.

In addition:

  • transition houses and other women-serving organizations across the province have received an additional $600,000 for COVID-19 related supports, including personal protective equipment and sanitation supplies
  • government provided more than $680,000 for renovations to expand services to Pictou County Roots for Youth, Viola’s Place in New Glasgow, and Cape Breton Community Housing Association
  • government earmarked $205,000 for three housing locators positions for Sydney, Kentville and Halifax/Colchester County, $45,000 for eviction prevention funds, and $27,000 to support homeless shelters in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak
  • a $40,000 contribution to Harvest House Community Outreach Association in Windsor supported the purchase of a new building to provide community services and outreach services
  • Autism Nova Scotia received $150,000 for COVID-19 related respite care for families not currently eligible for respite through the Department of Community Services
  • over $400,000 helped support children in the care of the Minister with educational needs, and youth exiting the care of the Minister or ending their involvement with Youth Services with accommodations, food, transportation, internet costs and counselling services
  • foster families and families being supported under the Alternative Family Care program received $213,000 to help cover costs of cleaning supplies, internet, at-home learning needs, respite support and accommodations for quarantining if necessary

Further investments include $180,000 to waive Pharmacare co-pay fees for Income Assistance clients, $276,000 to re-open adult day programs, and $300,000 to Feed Nova Scotia.


This funding, through the COVID Relief Fund, will assist thousands of individuals and families and will ultimately help Nova Scotians get back on their feet. – Maj. Wade Budgell, divisional commander, Salvation Army

This funding will allow Cape Breton Community Housing to renovate existing space at the Townsend Street Shelter building to expand the services offered to individuals experiencing homelessness in CBRM, as well as those who were severely impacted by COVID-19 related service restrictions. It will facilitate increased partnerships with other organizations who are also providing services to those in need. – Fred Deveaux, executive director, Cape Breton Community Housing Association

Quick Facts:

  • the Nova Scotia COVID Relief Fund, administered by the Salvation Army, is now accepting applications, and will do so until the funds are exhausted
  • the $19-billion federal-provincial-territorial Safe Restart Agreement was announced on July 16, 2020
  • Nova Scotia received about $289 million through the agreement
  • most of the federal funding is being allocated on a per capita basis, or a base plus per capita basis and requires reporting and accounting
  • funding was used to support COVID-19 related initiatives throughout the pandemic