App created to link Manitoba volunteers during COVID-19 outbreak

The government has a new way for Manitobans to support each other during the COVID-19 outbreak.

During an update March 23, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced the launch of helpnextdoormb.ca. The new provincial government website will connect Manitobans looking to volunteer, and those who need help.

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The website was developed in partnership with North Forge Technology Exchange, a Winnipeg-based entrepreneurship group that has often worked with the provincial government. North Forge board member Jerin Valel gave a few different examples on how the site could be used, including picking up a prescription for an older neighbour.

“We heard from the community at large that given the uptake of online scams, Manitobans were unsure of who and what to trust with help,” Valel said. 

“We wanted a trusted source that could showcase the good Manitoba could do.”

He added volunteers will be given criminal background checks and child abuse registry checks before being able to sign up.

According to the website, the new site (described as a web app) can link two people together and exchange their contact information. You can sign up using social media or an email address.

“Once matched, you will receive an email that will include the other parties contact information,” the website reads. 

“You will be responsible for contacting and setting up a time for the request to be completed.”

Pallister cited high donation numbers during COVID-19 as evidence people were willing to step up to help each other.

“Government can't do it all itself,” he said. 

“It needs to be Canadians pulling together as we can and as we must. Manitoba has a reputation for leading in that respect.”

Valel said the website should work on all devices and can be found at helpnextdoormb.ca.

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