Vulnerable populations across Canada – including here in the North Okanagan – continue to be disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Marginalized groups, youth, children and the elderly, essential workers and newcomers are just some of the communities facing increased challenges right now.
Help is here.
Launched on May 19, the Government of Canada’s new Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) aims to provide additional and much-needed assistance to charities serving vulnerable populations.
Funds are flowing through national networks, including Community Foundations of Canada, United Way Canada and the Canadian Red Cross.
“We are proud to be working with Community Foundations of Canada and the Government of Canada to deliver funding locally in the North Okanagan to ensure that our most vulnerable citizens are safe and healthy,” says Leanne Hammond, Executive Director or the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan.
“Through the ECSF, we’ll be investing $140,000 in local charities and qualified donees supporting vulnerable populations. Organizations can apply now and grants will be made on a rolling basis with applications reviewed weekly.”
Applicants are required to share how their project assists vulnerable populations, the populations they serve, and the impact of the project on the community.
Eligible projects will:
- Clearly address a pressing social inclusion or well-being need caused by COVID-19;
- Serve one or more vulnerable groups (defined below);
- Be carried out in a short timeframe with a reasonable budget, before March 31, 2021
- Examples include: Creating a digital health platform to continue mental health and addictions recovery programming; remote arts programming for vulnerable youth; technology allowing seniors in-residence to connect with their families virtually; and the purchase of food kits for marginalized families experiencing interrupted support services.
Applications must be submitted before July 27 for activities occurring between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.