The YMCA of Owen Sound Grey Bruce continues to support communities and individuals throughout Grey Bruce in meaningful ways, even during this current lock down.
Staff and children at our five Early Learning centres have remained busy having fun while following COVID protocols during our most recent lockdown. We still have spots available; parents can reach out to the centre nearest them for more information. A list of our Early Learning centres and contact information can be found on our website at ymcaowensound.on.ca.
Despite recent school closures, YMCA staff who would normally provide Before and After School Care stepped up to provide Emergency Child Care for school age children in four local communities: Port Elgin, Hanover, Owen Sound and Kincardine. Our Emergency Child Care programs provided school age child care for essential workers so these important members of our community could remain at work.
We are pleased that our sixteen Before and After School Care programs are once again open as of January 25th. Parents and guardians still requiring before and after school care are encouraged to contact the YMCA Before and After School program nearest to them for more information.
We are also expanding our support to our communities by offering PD days, as well as March Break programs. Information regarding these programs and how to register can be found on our website at ymcaowensound. on.ca.
Summer Day Camp
While we aren’t exactly sure where COVID cases will be once summer arrives, we are planning to offer summer day camp. It may look different as it did last year, but we are planning to have an action packed, fun summer regardless! Please keep checking our website for Summer 2021 updates on our Camp program.
COVID has had a profound effect on vulnerable members of our community. Our Community Initiatives team have seen an increased need for shelter as well as nutritious, hot meals. We are proud of our Housing team that has continued to support our vulnerable community members remotely during this challenging time. In our 2019-2020 year, 5,113 people reach out for housing support and 2,519 nights of emergency shelter were provided to 713 people*.
We would also like to recognize the hard work and dedication of other agencies in the community that are also striving to ensure our vulnerable community members continue to receive necessary supports.
A number of youth-centred programs are continuing online and can be accessed via our Facebook page or our website at ymcaowensound.on.ca. All Community Initiatives staff can be contacted at 519-371-9230 x 5 or email@example.com.
If you are new to Canada, getting to know your community can be overwhelming, especially during these times. A Settlement Worker can ease this transition. Our Settlement and Language Services team is working remotely and continue to be available to assist newcomers with their settlement needs.
Settlement and Language Services is more than language courses and settlement supports. It is about helping build positive community connections, making friends and engaging in local events/activities to develop the same valuable connection to the community that the rest of us do.
During the most recent stay at home order, some of the creative ways in which we are connecting are through our monthly virtual Cooking Classes, online English classes and working with community organizations, employers, and landlords to introduce and educate on culture, workplace, housing and much more. Our Services are free and mobile! When COVID restrictions are lifted, our staff are happy to meet with you in the community where you live, throughout Grey Bruce. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 519- 371-9222 ext. 6
Our Employment Services continue to operate remotely, YMCA Employment Advisors and Job Developers remain at the ready to serve job seekers and employers remotely, by phone, text, email and virtually. At this time, our Owen Sound and Hanover Resource Centres are closed to the general public; we look forward to when we can see you in person.
In the meantime, please call (519) 371-9222 ext. 6 in Owen Sound or (519) 364-3163 in Hanover, or email email@example.com to get started. We continue to offer online resources. Please be sure to check out our website and Facebook page, as well as our Job Board for current job opportunities!
Health, Fitness and Aquatics
Our facility closed on December 26, 2020. Although we ceased taking membership payments, we are continuing to provide Y members that were active at the time of closure with access to our YMCA Facebook Member Group. Our fabulous Fitness Team is busy providing a variety of online fitness programs, both live- streamed and recorded, on our Facebook Member Group to keep you moving! Our instructors would love to “see” you in their online class!
Inactive members and new members are welcome to join us. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. ca or (519) 376-0484 to reactivate or purchase a new membership.
Membership payments will recommence when we are able to reopen. ccess to our Facebook Member Group will continue upon reopening and will remain an additional service included with your membership fees.
Cardiac Rehab Program
Cardiac Rehab, which the Y offers in partnership with Grey Bruce Health Services, has continued remotely during the pandemic. Properly guided exercise sessions contribute greatly to the ability of a person who has experienced a cardiac incident to regain their health and we were very pleased that this service has continued. Under provincial guidelines, our facility may be used for specific services with limited participants, such as programs targeted to support out-patient programs.
After careful consideration and consultation with Grey Bruce Public Health, staff of Grey Bruce Health Services and the YMCA of Owen Sound Grey Bruce determined that offering Cardiac Rehabilitation sessions twice a week to a specific group of six high risk patients who are unable to exercise remotely, would be an excellent
support for these patients. Due to the increased risk posed by COVID-19 to cardiac patients, offering Cardiac Rehab while the facility is closed greatly reduces that risk. In addition, the ability to commence physical activities after a cardiac event in a controlled environment under the watchful eyes of a Registered Nurse and trained fitness professionals, is significantly safer for these high-risk participants than attempting to do so at home.
There is No Y Without You!
Now, more than ever the community needs the YMCA, and the YMCA needs our community.
As with many local charities, we have seen an increased need for services. We anticipate that need to continue to increase as the overall impact of the COVID-19 crisis on our community is fully realized in the upcoming year.
Did you know?
- 1 in 7 YMCA members need financial assistance to access your Y, about 700 people of all ages every month
- 20% of Owen Sound and Chatsworth residents belong to a low-income household (this is the highest ratio in all of Grey-Bruce)
Your support can change life for a local family!
With your support, we look forward to continuing our subsidized membership program to assist local children, families, and seniors in accessing YMCA programs and services upon the re-opening of our Health, Fitness and Aquatics centre, and to assist us in adapting to the new environment.
Donations can be made through the Donate Now button on our website at ymcaowensound.on.ca.