More than $9.6m of funding approved for organizations creating a safer and more equitable Vancouver
Despite being considered one of the most livable cities in the world, Vancouver is a city in which many residents face acute and persistent inequities influencing their mental, physical and emotional health, and well-being.
Sandra Singh, General Manager of Arts, Culture, and Community Services
Today, Council approved investments totalling more than $9.5 million in critical social programs, funding organizations that support reconciliation, equity and inclusion, gender equity, housing, poverty reduction, childcare, and the overdose crisis.
The total investment, which combines a number of different grant streams, is made up of 255 grants to non-profits who are working to help ensure Vancouver residents have equitable access to services and supports that can bring about positive change.
“Despite being considered one of the most livable cities in the world, Vancouver is a city in which many residents face acute and persistent inequities influencing their mental, physical and emotional health, and well-being,” said Sandra Singh, General Manager of Arts, Culture, and Community Services at City of Vancouver.
“On average, the organizations that have received social grants will leverage $4 for every $1 of this City funding, as well as provide thousands of Vancouver residents with access to critical services, connections to their community and a better quality of life.”
Red Fox Healthy Living Society received a grant for $45,000 to provide youth, particularly Indigenous youth, with opportunities to gain leadership and employment skills by helping deliver recreation, cultural and culinary programs to children and families. Emma Sutherland, Executive Director for Red Fox Society, said:
“Being able to count on core support from the City has enabled us to focus on delivering our mission to support and empower children and youth who face barriers, so that they can realize their individual potential. The City of Vancouver’s holistic approach to funding sets a fantastic example for the power cities can have in facilitating positive social change for future generations.”
Activities supported by social grants
The grants are aligned with several City priorities and the organizations receiving the funding deliver programs aimed at addressing some of the most significant issues facing Vancouver. Activities supported by these social grants include, but are not limited to:
- Housing: $1M of grants to 19 programs, including Helping Spirit Lodge Society, that support individuals experiencing homelessness.
- Reconciliation: More than $300,000 to programs focused on education, recruitment and family support for Indigenous people, such as the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre’s Family Place.
- Poverty reduction/access to low barrier employment: $200K in grants to support Eastside Works, a low-barrier employment hub.
- Gender Equity: $15,000 funding increase to the DTES Women’s Centre to hire additional peer support workers and more than $2M in grant funding to 30 organizations like Aboriginal Mother’s Centre Daycare, directly supporting 2,000 licensed childcare spaces.
- Overdose crisis: increased funding to the Broadway Youth Centre to add a harm reduction worker, as well as funding to Megaphone’s Speaker’s Bureau (in partnership with the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition) to connect institutions with speakers who have lived experience of drug use and overdose prevention.
- Equity and Inclusion: increased funding for sex workers’ safety via organizations like WISH Drop-In Centre Society, as well as new grants to support marginalized Chinese-speaking seniors, and to enhance services for refugees who are survivors of torture.
This report recommends grants that align with the City’s sustainability objectives and strategies including the Healthy City Strategy, Greenest City, Reconciliation, and the Women’s Equity Strategy. Grants also help organizations leverage funding from other sources, including other levels of government and foundations, thus increasing overall resources available to support Vancouver’s non-profit sector.