United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island (UWCNVI) will invest another round of Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) federal dollars in our local communities to help keep vulnerable people safe during COVID-19. 

The $350 million ECSF was first announced by the Government of Canada on April 21, 2020. Through the initial disbursement of funds, UWCNVI funded 80 agencies through ECSF round one. This $1.26M was invested in our local communities to support front-line service agencies adapt their processes and programs to continue to support vulnerable individuals and families through the pandemic. 

Now, the Government of Canada is releasing the balance of the $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) in a second round of funding. This second round of support is being administered across the country in collaboration with United Way Centraide Canada, Community Foundations of Canada and the Canadian Red Cross. 

“Charities and non-profit organizations are at the heart of our communities, helping the most vulnerable Canadians during the COVID-19 crisis. The Government of Canada is pleased to support these organizations through the Emergency Community Support Fund so that they can continue their invaluable work.” -The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. 

UWCNVI is proud to grant a further $380,600 to support local communities and service agencies who continue to serve our most vulnerable neighbours. United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island opened applications today to support organizations as they continue their vital work and expand their programming where needed. 

The applications now open in this important second round of ECSF granting is divided in two streams:

1. initiatives to support those at-risk or experiencing homelessness in Mt. Waddington, Comox Valley, Campbell River and Port Alberni areas;

2. agencies throughout UWCNVI’s geographic area that have seen an increase in demand for their services. Funds may be used for immediate needs and priorities related to the impact of COVID-19. This includes, but is not limited to, services such as:

Supporting individuals in accessing income supports and financial coaching
Mental health & wellness supports, including crisis counselling and peer support
Personal safety supports, including for those living in or escaping situations of violence

“As a result of our research and working in our communities, we know that mental health and the ability to cope during this pandemic is a huge concern. Meanwhile the numbers of people facing homelessness continues to increase as people lose their jobs and their savings dry up,” said Signy Madden, United Way Central & Northern Vancouver, Executive Director.

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, our local community-based charities and non-profit organizations have been working tirelessly to provide emergency support of all kinds—in particular, to individuals and communities experiencing continued or heightened vulnerability,” Madden added. “Demand for their services have increased dramatically. We are proud to work in partnership with the federal government and help organizations carry out their vital work in the coming months to ensure no one is left behind.”

Agencies are invited to apply if your organization has a charitable number and is providing supports and services to meet immediate community needs related to the COVID-19 in the two streams. This funding is intended to support frontline community service organizations providing services to support vulnerable Canadians, including low-income seniors, women, children and youth, persons with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, refugees, Indigenous peoples, members of racialized communities, and more.


The application process and further details can be found at uwcnvi.ca. Applications are now being accepted and close at 12:00 pm noon on November 2, 2020. Late submissions will not be accepted to ensure the funding gets distributed in a timely manner. 

In total, since March 2020, UWCNVI has granted 126 local organizations thanks to generous donors and federal support including ECSF. This pandemic response funding has been crucial to helping our communities during this crisis but it is not guaranteed to last. Everyday needs are becoming apparent throughout the region. Caring citizens and those with the ability to give are welcome to contribute to United Way’s fall campaign, which helps local people. Learn more and donate at uwcnvi.ca.


Nicole Benson

Director of Communications, United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island