Not-for-profit groups that deliver social services to people and families throughout northern Vancouver Island and central coast 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:
- Youth and their families in Nanaimo will benefit from access to youth suicide prevention programs, community education workshops and bereavement support services through the Vancouver Island Crisis Society.
- People in Powell River will have access to residential recovery treatment, including counselling, life-skills training and recreational activities through the Powell River Miklat Recovery House Society.
- The community of Port Alberni will benefit from 24-hour mobile outreach services through the Kuu-Us Crisis Line Society.
“Not-for-profit organizations have been creative throughout the pandemic and continue to support communities and enrich lives across the Island,” said Adam Walker, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum. “These grants will help a wide spectrum of organizations expand their work, including projects that will increase mental health and food security supports, offer ways for children to play sports and stay active, and more.”
Since 2017, Community Gaming Grants have annually supported over 1,400 not-for-profit organizations in the human and social services sector throughout more than 160 B.C. communities.
“With COVID-19 and people dealing with increased isolation and feelings of hopelessness, our crisis line services have seen a 9% increase in calls/chat/texts for emotional support and crisis services,” said Elizabeth Newcombe, executive director, Vancouver Island Crisis Society. “We answered over 43,000 interactions this past year. We continue to find unique ways to support people experiencing suicidal ideation and their loved ones. This funding will help our organization increase community education, training and support services related to suicide prevention and suicide bereavement.”
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
- 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.
For more information on how Community Gaming Grants respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit:
B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan and other government resources and updates: www.gov.bc.ca/covid19