More than $4.899M in grants helps fund 199 organizations in Greater Victoria

More than $4.899M in grants helps fund 199 organizations in Greater Victoria

The Victoria Foundation’s Community Grants Program has distributed $4.899 million to support 199 organizations in the capital region.

The 2023 Community Grants program included two grant streams, the Vital Stream with funding requests up to $30,000 and the Collaboration Stream with variable amounts available.

Through the Collaboration Stream, 14 grants were awarded supporting organizations to work together to address systemic issues and increase efficiencies in the non-profit sector through partnerships and networking.

This funding announcement comes on the heels of the latest State of the Sector report titled “Safety Net.”

The key themes of the report included organizations doing more with less, staffing concerns, uncertainty with rising costs and that there is a feeling of hope but the future is unclear.

Victoria Foundation’s CEO, Sandra Richardson, said the Community Grants Program aims to help address these challenges.

“The 2023 Community Grants Program will support organizations to make a lasting contribution to our community,” said Richardson. “There are significant pressures on our region including the non-profit sector, and the funding will help many organizations better meet these challenges.”

With housing being a significant issue in the capital region, receiving a failing grade in the 2022 Vital Signs report, the Victoria Foundation gave the Quadra Village Community Centre Housing Outreach Program one of the grants.

Kelly Greenwell, Quadra Village Community Centre executive director, said will help provide one-to-one housing support to numerous individuals and couples who are facing the immense challenge of needing to secure housing.

“This program is critical to community members who are overwhelmed by difficulty of housing applications and searches in an overwhelmed rental market,” Greenwell added. “The Housing Outreach Program gives people a chance to find housing who don’t have the tools to succeed during this affordability crisis.”

Four grants are slated to support organizations or projects that significantly benefit equity-deserving populations including Indigenous, Black, People of Colour, 2SLGBTQIA+, women, children and youth, persons with disabilities, and newcomers.

The Island Metis Family and Community Services Society is one of the grant recipients and plans to use the funding to help its community kitchen project.

“The community kitchen program aims to empower Métis youth and their families by improving food security, teaching valuable culinary skills, fostering social connections, and encouraging healthier eating habits,” Melanie Hudson, society executive director, explained.

She said the funding will hep upgrade kitchen equipment, educate youth on nutrition and provide healthy affordable meals to program participants.

The Victoria Foundation said  the 2023 Community Grants Program provided an additional 13 per cent in funding compared to 2022 and represents a doubling in available funding for the Community Grants program since 2018.

A full list of grant recipients can be found on the foundation’s website.

Mackenzie ReadMackenzie Read

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