From April to May 2020, PIRS conducted a needs assessment survey. Our staff reached out to 350 participants by phone and online. Here is what they told us…
- 50% are facing increased stress and economic uncertainties. Participants reported a loss of income in the household and growing anxiety about financial and housing instability. The women also expressed concerns about mental wellbeing and navigating increased responsibilities while dealing with economic uncertainties.
- 67% are struggling with keeping children positively engaged. Mothers have reported increased stress to home-school children without the necessary tools and skills and promote age-appropriate learning and healthy development. The load of household work has increased and there is an added responsibility on the parents to ensure that they home-school their children
- 87% are feeling isolated and mentally exhausted. Many have expressed a need for continued one-to-one support to navigate: government emergency benefits and financial support, food and basic needs access, mental health support, legal aid, and technology access. We realized that it has become all the more important for our clients to respond to their needs independently and converse in English more effectively in the current situation because people have been restricted to their homes and most of the services have moved online or over the phone.
- 30% need digital training to navigate government emergency benefits and financial support, food and basic needs access, mental health support, legal aid, and their children’s schooling.
To help them, PIRS is offering online English classes that not only equip them with the survival language that is required to navigate the crisis but also emphasize the well-being, connectedness, and personal growth of our participants. We’ve also put together childcare support packages and online Children’s classes that are both fun and educational.
We’re offering participants weekly online support groups and one-on-one outreach support, to help reduce isolation and improve access to accurate and up-to-date information and resources about the COVID19 pandemic and support services available.