Community and Social Services

Help Seniors Stay Safe at Home

If you know a senior with limited/no support, and difficulty getting essential supplies, call Niagara Gatekeepers at 905-684-0968

Niagara Gatekeepers

Niagara Region is working with the community to ensure residents are connected to resources, services, programs and support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This information will be updated as it becomes available.

Programs and Services

  • Emergency child care

    Niagara Region has been given authorization from the Province of Ontario to open licensed child care centres for essential workers identified by the provincial government. Child care is available at:

    • Branscombe Early Learning and Family Centre (Niagara Falls)
    • Fort Erie Child Care Centre
    • St. Catharines Child Care Centre
    • Welland Child Care Centre

    Child care is:

    • Free
    • Funded by the Province of Ontario for children from infant to age 12
    • Operating Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
    • Running out of existing Regional child care facilities
    • Staffed by licensed Niagara Region child care workers

    Health care staff or first responders can apply for emergency child care online or, if you have an existing application, update your information.

    You will be asked about your place of employment and child care needs. For assistance, call Jackie Galloway at 905 980-6000 ext. 3817.

    Enhanced safety measures approved by Niagara Region Public Health will be in place at the child care centres.

  • Emergency shelters

    Shelters in Niagara are still operating, but have implemented a number of protocols consistent with public health guidelines. This is to ensure the safety of individuals experiencing homelessness, and the staff who support them during this pandemic emergency.

    To access an emergency shelter, contact the shelter.

  • Food

    We're working with community organizations to provide up-to-date information on food banks, meal programs and emergency food programs in Niagara.

  • Mental health

    We know these are challenging times for all of us and your mental wellbeing is important. Mental health supports are available for children, youth and adults by phone and online.

  • Parenting support

    Parenting is hard and can be even more stressful during the pandemic. Visit Niagara Parents for resources, online classes, and information on babies, children and teens.

  • Seniors outreach

    During this time, we want to ensure our elderly neighbours in the community have support.

    If you don't have any symptoms associated with COVID-19 and know of a senior living in your neighbourhood, a friendly check-in might help identify someone at risk. Ensure you practice proper physical distancing, such as staying two metres (six feet) away from the front door after knocking.

    If your neighbour is at risk for the following, call Niagara Gatekeepers at 905-684-0968:

    • Limited or no support from family or friends at this time
    • Difficulty accessing essential supplies, such as food, medication, personal hygiene and housekeeping supplies
    • Difficulty getting to urgent, unavoidable medical appointments
    • Expressed feeling alone or secluded

    The Niagara Gatekeepers referral line is available in English and French from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., all year round.

    Information provided will be forwarded to a partner agency who will contact the senior and arrange services to help the senior maintain independence and stay safe at home.

    Some essential businesses in the community are offering specialized hours to serve vulnerable residents, such as seniors, during COVID-19. Check with your local pharmacy or grocery store for hours.


For information on social and community supports, call 211 or visit inCommunities.

211 works closely with community agencies to provide up-to-date programming and resource information.

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