Seventeen projects that aim to improve the lives of Columbia Basin residents by addressing social issues will soon be making a positive difference with nearly $965,000 in Social Grants from Columbia Basin Trust.
“Through projects like these, the Trust is supporting the efforts of community organizations to help Basin residents address challenges, and improve the quality of their lives,” said Aimee Ambrosone, Columbia Basin Trust Director, Delivery of Benefits. “We applaud the tremendous dedication that people in our region put into aiding others—and we’re glad we can be there to support their efforts.”
The Social Grants program helps Basin residents rise above challenges in three significant areas including improving quality of life for vulnerable populations, like seniors or those living in poverty, helping children with mental health and developmental needs, and increasing the capacity of non-profit organizations in the social sector.
The Castlegar and District Community Services Society is one of the grant recipients. It will deliver support services and programming aimed at preventing homelessness, and will help people at risk of becoming homeless find and keep housing. Its project will also identify the issues that contribute to housing instability and homelessness, and begin to address them.
“We will work with clients to deal with the causes of homelessness and ensure that clients are connected with the appropriate resources to help put their lives back on track,” said Kristein Johnson, Executive Director. “We will provide outreach services and financial assistance—to a limit—for costs like rent and damage deposits and for other basic needs that help prevent homelessness.”
Another recipient is the Cranbrook Boys & Girls Club. It will offer an after-school program for children aged five to 12 that will encourage outdoor play and help build a long-lasting healthy lifestyle for participants.
“Opportunities for children to play, especially outdoors with other children, have been declining, while anxiety, depression and feelings of helplessness have risen,” said Lori McNeill, Executive Director. “Our new program will address these concerns by providing supervised care exclusively in outdoor spaces such as forests, lakes, rivers and parks in all four seasons.”
Another recipient is Arrow and Slocan Lakes Community Services. It will provide a range of anti-violence services for men in the Nakusp area, including outreach, education and counselling.
“Men were coming into our office asking for help and we didn’t have a program to address their needs,” said Tim Payne, Executive Director. “Our program aims to provide outreach and support to men involved in many diverse situations, discover what their needs are and connect them with the right resources to end the violence in their lives.”
Another recipient is the North Kootenay Lake Community Services Society. It will deliver a range of early intervention and prevention mental health programs in for youth in Kaslo.
“Living in a rural area can often mean limited access to resources and a social stigma associated with asking for help,” said Danielle Byers, Executive Director for North Kootenay Lake Community Services Society. “This project has many benefits. It will help connect our youth with the help they need sooner and it also shows our youth that their input is valued and their ideas are supported in our community.”
See the backgrounder for a description of all 17 projects.
Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin. To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, and how it helps deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the Basin, visit ourtrust.org or call 1.800.505.8998.