VANCOUVER City Council on Tuesday approved $6.2 million in grants in support of community-led initiatives that promote equity, safety, and inclusion as well as renters and SROs in Vancouver. This includes $5,380,097 in social grants and $825,000 in grants to renter-serving organizations.
This investment aligns with the Healthy City Strategy and several interrelated initiatives, including the City of Reconciliation, the Childcare Strategy, the Equity Framework, actions to eliminate racism and supporting renters to retain their housing.
Through the Social Policy grants program, 105 non-profit groups will receive funds for programming and projects. These grants will enhance safety and security for equity-deserving communities, support social development across the city, ensure equitable access to services and supports, and promote licensed childcare services. This investment will support non-profit organizations to provide critical services and programs to the community, creating a more liveable city for Vancouverites.
Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House will receive a $118,778 Neighbourhood Organization Grant. Donna Change, Executive Director, said, “The Neighbourhood Organization Grant enables Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House to continue our decades-long history of creating community […] We have done this by building support networks around community members from infancy, through adolescence, into adulthood and continuing through to peoples’ senior years. This fund helps us to create a place in the community that people turn to for friendship, support and well-being.”
The Renter Services Grants include funding to 20 organizations totalling $750,000 and one SRO Tenants Support Grant totalling $75,000. These grants will be allocated to non-profit organizations to provide critical programs and services to Vancouver renters, such as legal advice, advocacy, and education on tenant rights. This investment aims to empower renters to understand and pursue their rights and retain their housing and aligns with Vancouver’s commitment to enhancing rental housing outcomes for the city’s renters.
Through an amendment, City staff will report back with proposed requirements for all grant programs to ensure that City grant recipients communicate to, about, and with City officials in a respectful manner that is in keeping with the City’s respectful workplace and related policies and requirements. As well, in June 2023, City staff will report back to Council with a comprehensive review of the social and cultural granting programs.
- The Kettle Friendship Society will receive a $43,000 Renter Services grant for their Mental Health Advocacy program. This funding will support renters with mental health issues in effectively resolving their legal problems by providing residential tenancy assistance. Through this program, The Kettle Friendship Society empowers clients to fully understand and exercise their rights as renters, promoting a more equitable and supportive community for those facing mental health challenges.
- DTES SRO Collaborative Society will receive a $75,000 SRO Tenants Support Grant to support The SRO Hub project. This initiative educates and empowers single-room occupancy hotel tenants through newsletters, tenant committees, and training/workshops on topics including overdose reversal and prevention, health and safety, and eviction prevention.
- Mom 2 Mom Child Poverty Initiative will receive a $25,000 Core Support Grant to continue to improve the lives of children in poverty by supporting their moms by pairing them with a relationship volunteer and supporting extra-curricular activities for children. The grant will also help moms build strong, meaningful relationships that reduce isolation and increase stability.
- Elimin8Hate has been awarded a $20,000 Core Support Grant to support them in providing learning opportunities for people to address anti-Asian racism. They will use the money to create safe and inclusive ways for people affected by racism and their supporters to work together toward making a more equitable society.
- Employ to Empower Foundation will receive a $30,000 Core Support Grant to support their work serving low-income community residents with work and social barriers and providing access to entrepreneurial resources to create a sense of community, connection, and contribution.
- 411 Seniors Centre Society will receive a Core Support Grant of $70,000. The organization is an inclusive community group dedicated to promoting the well-being of senior citizens in Vancouver, many of whom live on a very low income. 411 relies heavily on the skills of volunteers aged 55+ and offers community information and referral services as well as activities that encourage active aging and social connection.
For more information, including the full list of recipients, read the 2023 Community Services and Other Social Grants report and the Housing and Homelessness Services 2023 Grants report.