All Services available Virtually and In-Person
The YES Employment Services office and Resource Area is open to the public. We have implemented capacity limits, and safety protocols to protect our staff, visitors and clients. YES will continue to deliver all Employment Ontario programs and services virtually upon request. Call 807-623-0768 to connect with our team, text: 807-633-7990 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit this page for ongoing updates.
COVID-19 Supports and Resources
Virtual Mental Health Services
Wellness Together Canada (wellnesstogether.ca) was created in response to an unprecedented rise in mental health and substance use concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with funding from the Government of Canada. They offer free of charge:
- Immediate text support
- Information and videos
- Wellness programs you can do on your own or with coaching
- Community and peer supports
- Individual phone, video and text counselling
ConnexOntario (connexontario.ca) provides treatment service information for people experiencing problems with gambling, drugs, alcohol, and/or mental health. Helpful, supportive Information and Referral Specialists answer all calls, emails or webchat requests 24/7. Referral service is free and confidential. Call 1-866-531-2600.
Big White Wall (bigwhitewall.ca) provides a 24/7 anonymous online support for mental health
It offers self-help programs, creative outlets and a community that cares. When you are dealing with everyday stressors or major life events, they will help you get through it.
MindBeacon (mindbeacon.com) provides free virtual mental health services. A therapist guides you through a CBT program of readings and exercises, to help you improve your resilience. There is access to 24/7 Crisis Text Line. This service is free for Ontario residents thanks to funding from Government of Ontario.
Mental Health Hotline for Ontario Farmers. Upon calling, farmers will enter an intake process to arrange counselling sessions with mental health professionals who have received special training to understand the unique needs of Ontario farmers. Farmers can access up to four free counselling sessions annually. Accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, in English and French, farmers can call 1-866-267-6255 to speak to a counsellor.
Crisis Response Services of the Canadian Mental Health Association (thunderbay.cmha.ca/programs-services/crisis-response-services). Crisis Response Services offers mobile crisis response, crisis support residence, and 24/7 telephone services to both youth and adults who are experiencing a mental health crisis. In Thunder Bay call 807-346-8282. 1-888-269-3100 for the district/toll free line.
Sexual Abuse Centre Thunder Bay tbsasa.org). If you are in crisis either immediately after or anytime after an assault, please call our 24 Hour Crisis Line at 1-807-344-4502 (this line is answered by Crisis Response).
The LifeLine App (thelifelinecanada.ca) is the National free Suicide Prevention and Awareness App that offers access and guidance to support for those suffering in crisis and those who have suffered the loss of a loved one. They offer free of charge:
- Online Chat, Text and Email Crisis Help
- Canadian Crisis Line Centres Mapping
- Self-management tools
- Pattern Interrupts (to interrupt the pattern of suicide ideation)
Crisis Services Canada is Canada Suicide Prevention Service (CSPS) and is available to anyone thinking about or affected by suicide. Call toll-free anytime at 1.833.456.4566.
Crisis Text Line – By texting CONNECT to 686868, you can chat confidentially with a trained, volunteer Crisis Responder for support with any issue. The service is available 24/7/365 and accessible without a data plan, Internet connection or an app to use it.
The Ontario Caregiver Health Line (ontariocaregiver.ca/ontario-caregiver-helpline)
Provides a 24/7 helpline, peer support, webinars and podcasts for caregivers, psychoeducation, group and individual counselling, toolkits, and information for LGBTQ and Indigenous caregivers.
The Seniors Safety Line is the only 24 hour crisis and support line for seniors in Ontario who have experienced any type of abuse or neglect. Callers receive emotional support, safety planning, information and referrals in over 200 languages. The Seniors Safety Line (SSL) is a “senior friendly” service with a live counsellor available to help navigate often difficult systems, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Call us at 1-866-299-1011
For Children and Youth
Kids Help Phone (kidshelpphone.ca) is a free and confidential line for children to reach a Kids Help Phone counsellor 24/7 at 1-800-668-6868.
Good to Talk (good2talk.ca) is a free, confidential helpline providing professional counselling, information, and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being to post-secondary students in Ontario, accessible 24/7/365.Call 1-866-925-5454.
For Indigenous populations
Hope for Wellness (hopeforwellness.ca) is a help line that gives free national telephone crisis intervention and counselling support for First Nations and Inuit. Help can be reached toll-free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 1-855-242-3310.
Talk for Healing (talk4healing.com) is a culturally grounded, fully confidential helpline for Indigenous women available in 14 languages all across Ontario. Start your personal path to healing with acceptance and support by calling 1-855-554-4325.
Beendigen Crisis Line (beendigen.com) provides free and confidential support and services to ensure women and children have a safe environment to live in, free from violence. For the 24-hour Crisis Line: 1-807-346-4357 or Toll Free: 1-888-200-9997
Trans Lifeline (translifeline.org) is a peer support hotline is run by and for trans people 10am-4am EST. Volunteers may be available during off hours. 1-877-330-6366.
Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youthline (youthline.ca) is a confidential, non-judgemental and informed LGBTTQQ2SI Peer Support line. Jus call 1-800-268-9688.
Call Telehealth for medical advice
Telehealth Ontario is a free, confidential service you can call to get health advice or information. A Registered Nurse will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Assistance is available in more than 300 languages. When you call Telehealth, tell them what language you speak and you will be connected to an interpreter. Toll-free: 1-866-797-0000
NOT SURE WHO TO CALL? CALL 211
24-hour information and referral line connecting you to social, health, and government services. Call now and get connected. Our certified community resource specialists are trained to help you navigate the complex network of social services. We can help you find: basic needs (food, clothing, shelter and financial support); employment resources; parenting support; counselling/support groups; health care; legal services and MUCH more!
Please note that YES Employment Services does not deliver EI or any of the other Covid-19 supports listed below. We are, however, committed to linking you to these supports. If you are currently in need, reach out and we will connect you with organizations who deliver supports and resources.
For General Information
Every hour of every day, 211 North, along with its provincial partners, helps people navigate and connect to health, social, community and government services. #211Ontario
Federal Government Supports
Access to Service Canada: If you have internet you can access access all programs and services online from home at:
You can now apply for a Social Insurance Number entirely online through the
secure SIN online portal at
You can still receive personalized online support for all Service Canada services. To make an appointment or obtain assistance, please fill out the service request form at:
Find out if your local Service Canada Centre is open at:
Temporary changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program have been made to better support Canadians looking for work.
As of September 27, you may be eligible for EI if you:
- were employed for at least 120 insurable hours in the past 52 weeks
- received the CERB, the 52 week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended
- stopped working through no fault of your own
- have not quit your job voluntarily
- are ready, willing and capable of working each day (EI regular benefits)
- are temporarily unable to work while you care for someone else or yourself (EI maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care, and family caregiver benefits)
If you are eligible for EI benefits, you will receive a minimum taxable benefit at a rate of $500 per week, or $300 per week for extended parental benefits.
The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
The CRB provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for workers who have stopped working or had their income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19, and who are not eligible for Employment Insurance.
Link to all federal benefits for INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES here.
Provincial Government Supports
Visit the Province of Ontario supports page for emergency financial assistance available including supports associated with O.W. and O.D.S.P.
Link to benefits for INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES here.
City of Thunder Bay and Community Supports
The COVID-19 Resource Directory for Service Providers is a compilation of some regional, provincial and national COVID-19-related resources for service providers. The directory provides resources and links on the following sectors: health, mental health, housing, justice, crime prevention, trauma, technology, food security, finances, harm reduction, and newcomers/refugees, as well as tips for working remotely and online learning courses.
Supporting the community response fund
The United Way of Thunder Bay and the Thunder Bay Community Foundation have established a COVID-19 Community Response Fund. Donations to the fund will support local non-profits helping those at high risk throughout this crisis. Those who would like to help can donate to the fund through either the United Way or the Thunder Bay Community Foundation. Non-profit agencies may learn more about this Grant opportunity at: https://uwaytbay.ca/how-we-help/funding-applications-2
Assistance with Access to Technology for Individuals
The Thunder Bay Public Library is working with 20 community partners to loan technology to those identified with the greatest need. Given the continued uncertainty of how a second wave of COVID-19 infections will impact our region – and the rest of the world – digital access is imperative and is now an urgent need for everyone, but particularly for members of marginalized communities. While this program was prompted by the immediate impacts of COVID-19, the Library understands that technology loan programs like this will be needed well beyond the end of the pandemic.
Fifty devices and rocket hubs are now available for loan starting on Monday, November 9, 2020. The first clients referred to the program are from NorWest Community Health Centres as part of their IT Prescription program and also from Thunder Bay Counselling.
TBPL has a long history of loaning items to people, so this makes them ideally positioned to work with a wide variety of social service agencies and partner organizations including YES, to help ensure that their clients have access to the technology that they need. The Library is also used to teaching people how to use computers and other devices and will be offering instruction guides and technology coaching along the way.
For more information, please connect with a Community Partner agency or with the Library at 345-8275.
Assistance with Access to Technology for Business
View information about the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre’s BTIF program.
CANADA UNITED SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF FUND
Grants of up to $5,000 available. Link to information here.
Assistance for Business FEDNOR
Businesses that are impacted by sudden shifts in the economy are strongly encouraged to get in touch with FedNor officials. Business officials should speak with a FedNor officer:
|Thunder Bay||Greg Desimone||844-805-8732|
The RFDA is instructing individuals to call 211 for food bank times and locations. Visit their Facebook page for updates.
The Dew Drop Inn is open 7 days a week and serves a nutritious mid-day meal between 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. They provide a safe, welcoming environment where hungry men, women, and children can come to eat with no questions asked.
Visit the Dew Drop Inn’s Facebook page for information.
Grace Place serves lunch on Monday Tuesday and Wednesday from 1:00-4:00. It is a hot lunch take out anyone is able to access. Visit their Facebook page for more information or call Melody: 627-9848 Melody.
Thunder Bay Counselling Centre continues to provide counselling services virtually and in person. Find out how to speak with a counsellor on their website.
Tel: (807) 625-3960
Toll Free: 1-800-668-9360 (North America)
Fax: (807) 623