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Support for local south Island organizations delivers more vital services |BC Gov News

Support for local south Island organizations delivers more vital services |BC Gov News

May 21, 2021 at 3:03 pm  BC, News, Politics

Not-for-profit groups that deliver social services to people and families throughout the southern Vancouver Island region are receiving support through B.C.’s Community Gaming Grants program.

“Since the start of the pandemic, the not-for-profit sector has been a beacon for many British Columbians, guiding them through challenging times with programs that have made life better and helped keep communities resilient,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “We are stronger when we work together, and our government is committed to supporting these organizations and the people who rely on them – today, and as we move forward into recovery.”

The Province is contributing nearly $61 million to over 1,400 human and social services sector organizations that provide essential community services. These partner organizations make a difference in peoples’ lives through child care, support for people with disabilities, seniors’ activities, health education and more. The grants are also bringing a boost to programs that have seen a spike in demand since the pandemic, including food banks, shelters, mental health and addictions counselling, and services for women’s transition.

The following are examples of how Community Gaming Grant funding will help make a difference for people:

  • Families, children and parents in Sooke will benefit from preschool, prenatal and Neighbourhood House programs through the Sooke Family Resource Society.
  • Young moms and youth on Vancouver Island will have access to parenting and life skills programs through the YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island. 
  • Vulnerable people in Victoria will benefit from community outreach and supportive recovery programs through the Umbrella Society for Addictions and Mental Health.

“I am thrilled about the diversity of organizations receiving community gaming grants on the south Island,” said Murray Rankin, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head. “From working to advance our local arts and culture scene or promoting healthy and active living, to providing important support services for children, families, seniors and more, these organizations have been pillars of our community throughout COVID-19.” 

Since 2017, Community Gaming Grants have annually supported more than 1,400 not-for-profit organizations in the human and social services sector throughout more than 160 B.C. communities.

“The regular challenges of teens becoming young adults, including new responsibilities and life transitions, are heightened for those experiencing poverty, homelessness, mental health difficulties, gender-based violence or other crises,” said Steve Gough, director of operations, YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island. “These grants will allow us to provide vulnerable youth and young adults, including single mothers, with counselling, pre-employment training and other independent-living guidance, in addition to assisting them to secure and maintain affordable housing.”

An anonymous participant at the Young Moms Program at Kiwanis Family Centre said, “The counselling from this program has been helpful and has given me a sense of security and peace of mind. I’ve worked on finding daycare, developing routines, applying for low income housing for after the program so I can continue school, enrolling in other programs and counselling for anxiety and trauma to feel safe. I am very happy to be part of the program.”

Community Gaming Grants provide approximately $140 million each year to support nearly 5,000 not-for-profit organizations that deliver services to people throughout British Columbia.

See the full list of human and social services grant recipients here: http://news.gov.bc.ca/files/5-21-21_HSSS.pdf

Quick Facts:

  • Each year, Community Gaming Grants provide funding to a variety of not-for-profit organizations, including arts and culture groups, sports, environment, public safety, and human and social services, as well as parent advisory councils in schools throughout B.C.
  • The Community Gaming Grants program provides funding that benefits communities through the organizations that the program supports each year, including $5 million dedicated to funding the capital project sector.
  • There has been no change to the Community Gaming Grants program budget for 2020-21.
  • All Community Gaming Grant funding must comply with the provincial health officer’s orders. The program is providing flexibility for organizations to delay project and service delivery until they can do so safely.

Learn More:

For more information on how Community Gaming Grants respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit:

StrongerBC: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/

B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan and other government resources and updates: www.gov.bc.ca/covid19

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