YES Program and Service Delivery

YES Employment Services is currently delivering Employment Ontario programs and services virtually AND in person. If you do plan to visit in person, you can save some time by filling out our screening questionnaire in advance.

Our Resource Area is open during regular business hours. Here is what you can expect when you arrive:

The door will be locked, please ring the doorbell for service. Please maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others waiting to gain entry. Approach the door one at a time. Masks are mandatory. We are limiting entry to five visitors at a time.

Our staff will meet with you outside, prior to entry to complete a Covid-19 Screening form with you. You can complete the screening ahead of time, here. If you have any Covid-19 symptoms, OR have travelled outside of Northwestern Ontario within the past 14 days, OR you have had close contact with someone who has Covid-19 or is awaiting a test result, you will not be allowed entry.

Once inside, we ask you to maintain 6 feet of distance between yourself and other clients and staff members at all times. You must wear a mask for the duration of your visit.

We have plexiglass barriers set up around our reception area and between all computer work stations. We seat visitors at every other work station to ensure distance is maintained. Workstations are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized after each visit.

COVID-19 Supports and Resources

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 these supports.

For General Information

Dial: 2-1-1

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

Employment Insurance:

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 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: 

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.

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 BayGreg Desimone844-805-8732

Food Security

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.

Counselling Services

Thunder Bay Counselling Centre continues to provide counselling services virtually and in person. Find out how to speak with a counsellor on their website.

Rural and Northern Immigration Project in Thunder Bay


Tel: (807) 625-3960
Toll Free: 1-800-668-9360 (North America)
Fax: (807) 623

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