Yesterday, the Comox Valley Regional District’s Board of Directors approved $148,279 in grant-aid to support the homeless and provide food security for marginalized populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Providing funds to those groups that are on the ground delivering essential support to our marginalized populations is absolutely critical in the effort to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 in our community,” said Jesse Ketler, Chair of the Comox Valley Regional District. “How we support our most vulnerable will have a direct impact on the rate of infection, but it will also define our values as a community when we come together to protect those who cannot protect themselves.”
Approved funding allocations include $93,179 from repurposed general administration surplus funds to be dedicated to the Comox Valley Community Foundation, the Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness and the Community Health Network.
Each organization that receives COVID-19 support funding is expected to direct those funds towards initiatives that support the homeless and provide food security. They will be required to report back on the purpose and effect of each disbursement on COVID-19 response in the community.
“The Comox Valley Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Grants will direct funding to local charities to ensure that families and our community’s most vulnerable have access to food, shelter and care in this challenging time,” said Matt Beckett, President. “We are very pleased that the Comox Valley Regional District has chosen to coordinate its response with the Foundation, as we have the mechanisms in place to disburse the funds, without duplication of effort, making the process easy for local charities and non-profits, and ultimately ensuring timely delivery of services to those needing it the most.”
In addition to this emergency funding, $55,100 in grant funds will be expedited to 12 non-profit organizations supporting specific community initiatives identified within the electoral areas. These contributions will be made available through the five Grant-in-Aid services for the Electoral Areas and are funded by a combination of 2020 tax requisition and prior years surplus carry forwards.
The full list of electoral area grant in aid recipients includes:
- Denman Community Land Trust Association
- Denman Island Neighbourhood Emergency Preparedness Program Organization
- Denman Island Preschool Society
- Fanny Bay Community Association
- Fanny Bay Seniors Society
- Hornby Island Arts Council
- Hornby Island Daycare Society
- Hornby Island Educational Society
- LUSH Valley Food Action Society
- Royston Community Club and Recreation Commission
- Ships Point Volunteer Firefighters Association
- Union Bay Community Club and Recreation Association
“Grant funding for Hornby Island will allow the local Soup Kitchen to install a sanitizer/dishwasher, ensuring the health and safety of patrons as they continue to serve takeout during this pandemic,” explained Electoral Area A Director, Daniel Arbour. “Funding for the Union Bay Community Club will also support important upgrades to their kitchen to respond in the face of this new public health reality.”
Later this month, the Electoral Area Directors will be considering additional grant fund awards to other community programs, as this first round of funding is primarily intended to assist with responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Comox Valley Regional District is a federation of three electoral areas and three municipalities providing sustainable services for residents and visitors to the area. The members of the regional district work collaboratively on services for the benefit of the diverse urban and rural areas of the Comox Valley.