United Way Greater Victoria and the Victoria Foundation are investing $1.6 million into local charities to help them adapt their frontline services to support vulnerable citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 60 grants will help organizations across the Capital Region District, the Gulf Islands and north to Cowichan thanks to funding received from The Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF).
Please see the full list of funded programs below:
United Way and Victoria Foundation Co-Funded Programs
Disaster Aid Canada
To provide hygiene ammenities to vulnerable populations through a variety of service providers and is the key organization providing this service locally.
Oak Bay Volunteer Services Society
To help elderly seniors, and others with health vulnerabilities, continue to live independently in their home during the COVID-19 pandemic, meeting needs related to health and wellness while helping to mitigate the effects of isolation.
Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness
Indigenous harm reduction program (shelter and managed alcohol program) in a culturally supportive setting for a population particularly vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 related challenges.
Community and Social Planning Council
This project will expand CSPC’s successful transit pass program to include vulnerable individuals who are impacted by COVID-19 but cannot currently access the program through bus pass purchase and distribution, partnership development and a regional research focus on expanding access to transit in the long term.
Island Deaf and Hard of Hearing Society
This project will support the organization to safely re-open and deliver hearing health services, provide hearing aids and reduce isolation to a demographic whose social isolation has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis.
Victoria Women’s Transition House
To provide technology resources and secure storage (safes) to allow client families in each room to isolate safely and have access to computer communication and safe storage.
To reintroduce their programs supporting food security and community connections, modified by the necessary public health requirements.
Supports Indigenous communities in meeting their own literacy and learning needs by pairing a member of an Indigenous community (the CLC) with a Frontier College mentor to plan and implement customized, accessible, and culturally relevant literacy support programming for children, youth, and adults.
WorkLink Employment Society
Providing people with profound disabilities with one-one-one job developing and job coaching as they navigate the expectations of employers while delivering services in a new COVID-19 work environment.
Victoria Native Friendship Centre
VNFC is currently delivering 200 hampers to 469 people weekly. Funds are needed for a freezer, canning supplies, technical support to continue delivering services, and program delivery.
Providing homeless populations with food and other basic necessities.
United Way Funded Programs
Victoria Brain Injury Society
To upgrade existing telephone technology so staff can successfully reach more clients, as well as provide more support to brain injury survivors and their families.
Esquimalt Neighbourhood House
To purchase non-perishable food items to supplement the rescued produce already being distributed to the vulnerable populations they serve.
Garth Homer Society
Funding for this project would support development of LifeStreams Online, including the development of a purpose-built website, creating hub/library of existing resources and live-streaming and interactive activities, including exercise, arts, mindfulness, accessible news programs. These services would support and connect individuals and caregivers who are cut off from their usual supports.
Victoria Child Abuse Prevention and Counselling
Counselling for children/youth who have experienced abuse during pandemic; funds to hire a master’s educated counsellor and for sanitation costs.
Victoria Festival of Authors
Online writer’s festival; to be recorded and shared as an educational resource.
Providing food to the homeless population.
John Howard Society of Victoria
This project aims to adapt the existing BladeRunners employment program to virtually provide vulnerable youth with employment skills and securing employment. It will also provide food, counselling, and opportunities for social inclusion.
University of Victoria (For the Centre for Outreach Education)
To adapt in-person tutoring program and deliver virtually to children/ youth with special learning needs, who are more likely to be negatively impacted by online schooling and social isolation.
Paws for Hope Animal Foundation
To fund vet bills for low-income people unable to provide vet care for ill pets.
Mayne Island Assisted Living Society
Counselling services for seniors and other at-risk residents.
Burnside Gorge Community Association
Meal services to seniors and low-income families, including meal delivery and pick up options.
Crisis Intervention and Public Information Society of Greater Victoria dba NEED2
The chat service Youthspace.ca has seen a 15% increase in chats since January 2020, and through the course of the pandemic has seen a great number of chats in which youth discussed the anxieties, difficulties, and losses that they have been experiencing. Volunteers have been giving many hours to support youth through these experiences. This project will ensure that the program is staffed sufficiently in order to be able to continue offering high quality support and supervision to these volunteers.
LDABC The Learning Curve
Ensure vital programs are adapted to follow COVID-19 health and safety protocols and continue to be accessible to families and care providers of children who have learning and behavior challenges.
March of Dimes Canada
To match friendly volunteers with local program participants for virtual support, either to solve their problems with tech, and/or provide a friendly visit.
Pacific Training Centre for the Blind
To provide training during COVID-19, the PTCB is: 1) Teaching its blind students via telephone and virtual classroom, 2) Reaching out to the larger local blind community to provide teleconference roundtables, accessible resources about COVID-19, and activities blind people can do during the pandemic.
Silver Threads Service
A meal delivery service to isolated seniors. Funding would allow the organization to continue delivering 120 meals a week.
Vancouver Island Men’s Therapy Centre Society
COVID-19 has meant the organization had to move to remote counselling (phone and Zoom). This has generated additional costs for staff and technology. Funding would support the organization to continue to connect and reach vulnerable survivors of trauma.
1Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre
To expand our food services to feed single parent families impacted by poverty due to COVID-19.
This project would support vulnerable Indigenous youth and Elders with the T’Sou-ke First Nation and Skeetchestn Indian Band, scaling up the program to support 10 vulnerable Indigenous youth in 10 remote and rural Indigenous communities to provide social, emotional, and healing support to Elders.
Wear 2 Start Society
To provide self-identified women, who are referred by social service and employment agencies, with a haircut at a partner salon which will instill confidence and professionalism as clients take their next steps toward success for themselves and their families.
Victoria Foundation Funded Programs
Threshold Housing Society
To support at-risk youth who are currently not on their waiting list, as well as those who are on the waiting list through additional intake and support services.
Capital Region Prostate Centre
To support organization technological capacity for programs that have been adapted to online. Programs include support groups; appointments with nurse navigator; library of support group presentations; and a cancer care exercise program.
Oaklands Community Association
To expand food hamper program by hiring a food security outreach worker. The Oaklands neighbourhood faces financial instability. They are currently delivering 80 hampers/ week; funding would help expand this.
Let’s Talk Science/Parlons Sciences
Providing grade 4-6 students with activity kids to encourage continued learning in STEM.
Cook Street Village Activity Centre Society (New Horizons)
To support people (mostly seniors) to reconnect with their community through purchase of pexi-glass dividers.
Hulitan Family and Community Services Society
Food security and mental health supports to Indigenous peoples; transportation support too.
Victoria Disability Resource Centre
To provide remote peer support to persons with disabilities who are experiencing isolation during this pandemic.
Vancouver Island Counselling Centre for Immigrants and Refugees Association
To hire a Social and Community Support Worker to help meet increased demand at VICCIR for assistance to newcomers to connect with community resources and partner organizations to support them with navigating COVID-19 related challenges.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria Capital Region
To continue the organization’s school-based mentoring program through an online platform and fund outreach workers to support families in making the transition from school-based to virtual mentorship.
Canadian Paraplegic Association (BC)
To provide support to persons with spinal cord injuries through navigating government supports, providing resources and references and linking to support groups.
Book Clubs for Inmates
To provide books and book clubs for the population at William Head Institution, who are in high-risk environment and socially isolated.
Salt Spring Community Health Society
To provide mental health first-aid training to residents of Salt Spring Island to assist in navigating and responding to the additional mental health challenges experienced by many in this underserved rural area.
University of Victoria (for CanAssist)
To youth with disabilities and mental health challenges to find suitable work and supports them in discovering strengths and developing pre-employment skills through one-on-one mentorship.
Victoria Literacy Connection Society
Supporting online programming to offer English language training and French immersion language training to vulnerable populations needing continued literacy support.
Pacific Opera Association
Digitizing an opera performance and bringing it to schools alongside curriculum aid; providing youth with additional virtual educational resources and supporting artists who have lost income during COVID-19.
The Mindfulness Project at the Bateman Gallery of Nature will dedicate its space to cultivating mindfulness and wellness for Victoria’s most vulnerable populations through engaging art and nature activities.
Burnside Gorge Community Association
To enhance and encourage healthy physical, mental, and emotional development in children through two “do it at home” programs called Love to Learn and Healthy Together.
Canadian Federation of the Blind
To host online and telephone discussions and gatherings for blind people and provide web-based text-to-speech and electronic Braille resources so those without vision do not feel socially isolated or left behind during and after COVID-19.
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada
To provide the latest updates on COVID-19 and recommendations for people affected by Crohn’s or colitis in order to provide the community with up to date information to manage their health at this time.
Galiano Health Care Society
To ensure that Southern Gulf Island residents have the support and supplies they need to get home with speed and dignity when their health care needs take them off-island.
Island Community Mental Health Association
PSR Collaborative’s Social Gathering Place Project is intended to facilitate social connection for people experiencing mental health challenges. During the COVID-19 pandemic’s social distancing measures, we propose to introduce Virtual Social Connection features to provide fun and entertaining online connections, and to convene a steering committee of People With Lived Experience to assist in the development and delivery.
Islanders Working Against Violence Society
To provide additional outreach materials and technology to support women experiencing intimate partner violence.
Kaleidoscope Theatre Production Society
An outdoor theatrical production for young audiences touring to communities on Southern Vancouver Island.
Nourish Cowichan Society
Emergency food security through provision of quality, homemade, nutritious food for the community’s most vulnerable children and families.
O.R.C.C.A. Dental Clinic Society
Support to reopen the dental clinic with added staff capacity and supplies to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Pain BC Society
Online adaptation of Pain BC’s in-person peer-led Pain Support and Wellness Groups to protect the health and wellbeing of participants while continuing to provide hope and practical support so people living with pain can regain some of their quality of life while in isolation
Victoria Restorative Justice Society
To ensure the organization can continue current casework and accept new referrals, while operating in a safe and effective way for clients, volunteers and staff.
Saanich Volunteer Services Society
Tax return support for seniors.
Ts’ewulhutun Health Centre program to provide healthy food to Cowichan Tribes youth who are at risk of lower health status due to lack of healthy nutrition.