Media Release

TBDSSAB receives funding to provide mental health and addictions supports

March 10, 2021 – THUNDER BAY, ON – With support from the province, The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board is working with community partners to provide additional supports to those struggling with mental health and addictions issues.

The Ministry of Health through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is providing one-time funding of $1,040,046 to The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB). This funding is part of the Ontario government’s $176 million investment in the Roadmap to Wellness, a comprehensive plan to build a fully connected mental health and addictions system across the province. In December 2020, the province announced that $10 million of this investment would include one-time funding to strengthen mental health and addictions supports for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in communities hit hard by COVID-19.

Working with community partners, this funding will support 19 initiatives across 14 organizations. The funding will be used to support operational costs related to mental health and addictions supports for vulnerable individuals, including the homeless or precariously housed. Funding towards initiatives by community organizations totals $743,244, with the remainder allocated to initiatives delivered by TBDSSAB. The following initiatives have been approved for funding:

Brain Injury Services of Northern Ontario, to provide social activities for individuals with acquired brain injury that address needs arising from COVID-19 restrictions and distancing. $5,000
Dilico Anishinabek Family Care, to provide land-based teaching program supplies, technology, medical supports, food/life stabilization supplies and COVID safety expenses. $200,000
Elizabeth Fry Society of Northwestern Ontario, to provide emergency short term housing and supplies/furnishings, as well as PPE, rent deposits, and supports. $24,770
Geraldton District Hospital, to support interaction and engagement with individuals in crisis, and diversion from hospital. $79,000
Grace Place, to support the expansion of the day shelter and navigation staff to assist in addressing COVID distancing and protocols $15,536
John Howard Society of Thunder Bay and District, to provide recreational programming supplies and fitness room update; re-integration kits for clients to support safe practices, hygiene and life supports. $33,325
Lakehead University, to provide software support and training for a new suicide prevention initiative. $9,000
Matawa First Nations, to provide supports for clients maintaining housing, street and high-risk individuals support, mental health and addictions counselling, respite and crisis support, and emergency supplies including PPE. $126,000
NorWest Community Health Centre, to support implementation of a Life Guard App for the reduction of opioid-related overdoses, including a strong protocol for emergency services alert. $70,000
NorWest Community Health Centre, to implement a pilot project Care Bus staffed with peer workers and community health nurses to connect individuals to emergency shelters, warming centres, addiction and mental health services, harm reduction services and health supports in the community. $126,200
Salvation Army, to provide technology to assist clients and staff with training and engagement. $10,860
Town of Marathon, to provide mental health supports for seniors who can not access community resources. $5,000
Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre, to provide support for traditional medicines, program materials for mental health and addictions supports, purchase of technology to support client connectivity, and food supports for clients. $30,000
Thunder Bay Police Service, to conduct welfare checks with supports in remote areas in city and provide cold weather clothing for vulnerable people released from custody. $8,553
The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board to support the following initiatives:

  • Computer lending program for clients to access computers and online resources.
  • Pharmacy support program to cover medications for mental health and addictions.
  • Wellness kits and clothing for distribution to vulnerable populations through volunteer groups.
  • Telecommunications outreach to distribute cell phones to vulnerable individuals.
  • Renovations to resource hubs to support mental health and addictions.


  • “Our government understands that improving access to mental health and addictions support is a critical step in supporting Ontarians experiencing homelessness in communities hard-hit by COVID-19, including Thunder Bay. We’re excited to see that the District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board is using this new funding for numerous important local initiatives.” – Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
  • “The Board has been a strong advocate for mental health and addictions supports for the homeless and precariously housed in our District. We understand that self-sufficiency cannot be achieved without supporting mental health, and this funding represents an opportunity to strengthen partnerships between social services and the mental health and addictions system in our District. We are grateful to the province for entrusting TBDSSAB with this funding and thank the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark and Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Michael Tibollo for their support.” – Lucy Kloosterhuis, Board Chair, TBDSSAB
  • “The level of funding provided is a recognition of the significant need that exists in our service area and comes at a critical time. We look forward to the positive impact this investment will have for the people we serve. Thank you to our Board of Directors for their advocacy.” – William (Bill) Bradica, CAO, TBDSSAB
  • “We have had many discussions with community partners over the years about how we could support mental health and addictions in our District if funding was available. We are pleased by how quickly our community partners responded to this opportunity.” – Ken Ranta, Director – Integrated Social Services Division, TBDSSAB

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Media Release: TBDSSAB Receives Funding to Provide Mental Health and Addictions Supports (PDF, 219KB)