male construction worker
female baker
male truck driver
Female Lab worker

YES Programs and Services and Covid-19

YES Employment Services is open and currently delivering Employment Ontario programs and services virtually and in person.

Our Resource Area is open during regular 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.

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.

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 after each visit.

You may also have questions about programs not delivered by YES.  Here are some helpful links and contacts. This information is updated weekly to maintain current information.

COVID-19 Supports and Resources

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

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 the supports you need.

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.

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.

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.

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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