United Way Greater Victoria and Victoria Foundation allocate $735,000 in Emergency Community Support Fund grants

41 local programs will reach vulnerable populations during pandemic

VICTORIA, BC, DECEMBER 10, 2020 – United Way Greater Victoria and the Victoria Foundation are investing $735,000 in 41 local charities to help them serve the immediate needs of populations who have experienced heightened vulnerability during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) 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. Applications for this second round of ECSF grants ran from October 5 to November 3, 2020 and involved a collaboration between the United Way and the Victoria Foundation.

Out of the 41 grants approved, five programs were co-funded by United Way and Victoria Foundation. For instance, the Indigenous Perspectives Society will be using its co-funded grant to continue to provide services and support staff and clients via electronic communications.

“The support provided for this project by the Victoria Foundation, United Way and the Canadian Government is extremely valuable and very much appreciated by IPS,” said Karman Lippitt, Business Development and Communications Coordinator, Indigenous Perspectives Society. “The requirement to shift all services online in 2020, due to COVID-19, has been challenging. This funding will help IPS continue to provide our services and support the well-being of Indigenous children, families and communities in B.C. and in Canada.”

Peers Victoria Resources Society is using the funding to bring cultural gatherings and supplies to unsheltered individuals with a focus on the teaching, food, and art of the Coast Salish people.

“We recognize that these events support people to engage with the Indigenous teachings, laws, and medicine of these territories, which is a foundational piece for someone to maintain a strong sense of identity and healing,” said Lacey Jones, Snuneymuxw Nation, Indigenous Housing Outreach, Peers Victoria. “Local Coast Salish Elders always say that many teachings come out when we sit together and eat; this is a key component to what is being offered at these cultural events.”

Funding from the grants will also help the Esquimalt Neighbourhood House Society deliver food and face masks to vulnerable clients, the Nesting Doula Collective to provide culturally affirming, anti-oppressive postpartum support to Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) residents, and the Island Community Mental Health Association develop a series of videos of music and other artistic expressions by and for people with mental health challenges for the purpose of virtual connection.

The Government of Canada announced the $350 Million Emergency Community Support Fund on April 21, 2020, and Round 1 of the funding ran in May and Round 2 recently concluded. The fund was administered across the country in partnership with United Way Centraide Canada, Community Foundations of Canada and the Canadian Red Cross.

“It has been a challenging year for everyone: individuals and families, non-profits and government. The ECSF is a huge win for our community,” said Mark Breslauer, CEO, United Way Greater Victoria. “The Government of Canada has recognized the critical importance of the not-for-profit sector and the value United Way Greater Victoria and the Victoria Foundation bring when it comes to the management and stewardship of precious public funds. But most of all, the funding has allowed our local non-profits to both operate and innovate, while feeling highly supported. This collaborative effort has bolstered resources for when people need them most.”

“To have this ongoing source of funding to be able to provide to local organizations is so valued as this pandemic continues,” said Sandra Richardson, CEO of the Victoria Foundation. “It’s inspiring to see the Government of Canada step up at this time with this support, and we’re delighted to collaborate with them and the United Way to make sure these funds go to where they’re needed most.”

For a full list of funded projects visit: https://uwgv.ca/news/ecsf/

Funded by the Government of Canada

About United Way Greater Victoria

United Way is a trusted leader, influencer and catalyst for change. In response to COVID-19, we are focusing our efforts on urgent community needs such as mental health outreach services and counselling, meals and companionship for isolated seniors, and essentials for families in need. United, we accelerate change to improve the lives of our neighbours who need it most, making our local community stronger. We believe everyone in Greater Victoria should have the opportunity to reach their potential. Our vision is to build a safe and resilient community where happiness and belonging connect us. Last fiscal year United Way raised $4.7 million thanks to over 7,000 donors and over 250 workplaces running employee giving programs. These funds allowed United Way to support over 90,000 people. Show your local love today by making a gift to United Way at uwgv.ca.

About Victoria Foundation

Established in 1936, the Victoria Foundation is Canada’s second oldest community foundation and the sixth largest of nearly 200 nation-wide. The Victoria Foundation manages charitable gifts from donors whose generosity allows them to create permanent, income-earning funds. The proceeds from these funds are then distributed as grants for charitable or educational purposes. To date the Victoria Foundation has invested over $245 million in people, projects and non-profit organizations that strengthen communities in BC and throughout Canada.

Media Contacts:

Heather Skydt, Director of Communications and Marketing
United Way
heather@uwgv.ca
Work: 250-984-2269 Cell: 250-686-3606

Kyle Wells, Communications Manager
Victoria Foundation
kwells@victoriafoundation.bc.ca
Cell: 250-213-7131