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Local non-profits receive grant funding for street cleaning programs

January 25 2017 Grant program supports low threshold employment and public realm cleaning programs

“I’m proud to support these grants that grow local micro cleaning programs, encourage inclusive economic growth connecting people to our city and keep our streets looking clean, green and vibrant," says Mayor Gregor Robertson

Council has approved funding for six local non-profit organizations as part of the City’s Street Cleaning Grant Program.

The 2017 Street Cleaning Grant Program will allow existing service providers to continue to support low threshold employment opportunities and grow their micro-cleaning programs.

What micro cleaning programs do

Micro cleaning involves daily collection of difficult materials, including needles and litter, using brooms, shovels, and wheeled garbage carts.

Micro-cleaning programs offer job and job skills training for youth and adults with barriers to traditional employment.

This work differs from street cleaning done by City crews, which is focused on emptying receptacles and litter collection using sweepers, flushers, or other vehicles.

Programs encourage inclusive economic growth

“Local non-profits participating in the City’s Street Cleaning Grant Program show tremendous community spirit by taking pride in our neighbourhoods’ cleanliness while providing low barrier, inclusive job opportunities,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson.

“I’m proud to support these grants that grow local micro cleaning programs, encourage inclusive economic growth connecting people to our city and keep our streets looking clean, green, and vibrant.” 

About the grant recipients 

The six grant recipients have demonstrated that they have the resources and capabilities to provide quality workmanship, well-established programs, the ability to build social capacity, and strong past performance. 

The 2017 program will award $970,000 in grants to six local non-profit organizations:

  • Save Our Living Environment – United We Can ($340,000)
  • Coast Mental Health Foundation – Employment Services Program ($240,000)
  • Mission Possible Enterprises Society – MP Maintenance ($240,000)
  • Family Services of Greater Vancouver – Street Youth Job Action ($60,000)
  • The Kettle Friendship Society – SEED Employment Program ($40,000)
  • Tides Canada Initiatives Society -The Binners’ Project ($50,000)

About the Street Cleaning Grant Program 

The Street Cleaning Grant Program has provided funding to non-profit organizations to improve street cleanliness through micro-cleaning for the past 19 years.

In 2016, the program resulted in: 

  • 400 city blocks and 22 BIAs cleaned
  • 35,000 work hours to individuals with barriers to traditional employment
  • 12,200 bags of litter collected
  • 63,000 needles collected from streets and lanes
  • 16,000 single-use items (plastic bags, coffee cups, Styrofoam containers) collected from 22 BIAs
  • 20,000 coffee cups collected and recycled as part of a pilot with The Binners' Project

How you can do your part

While we work with our partners to keep our streets clean, pitch in and do your part by reducing waste, responsibly disposing of waste, picking up litter, or participating in our year-round community-based litter and graffiti reduction program, Keep Vancouver Spectacular

Learn about the Street Cleaning Grants Program