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Vancouver City Council invests in childcare, jobs and support for vulnerable populations

Almost half a million dollars in funding was approved by Vancouver City Council yesterday, for investments in child care, jobs for vulnerable citizens, and improved safety and support for sex trade workers, which will help build stronger, safer communities in Vancouver.
 
“These grants are critical to building stronger communities, and they invest in key priorities for this council, such as child care and local jobs,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We’re proud to partner with the many local groups that do such great work in providing services that help families, children, and some of our most vulnerable citizens.”
 
For childcare and social services grants, $154,409 was allocated as follows:
  • $93,333 to seven childcare, social service or housing non-profit organizations for improved access to services for vulnerable populations including homeless women and urban Aboriginal communities;
  • $29,904 to seven childcare programs for supporting Aboriginal-focused curriculum, development of new childcare spaces and assessment of needs;
  • $21,172 to the PACE Society to provide sex workers in the Downtown Eastside with safety supports, life skills and assistance in exiting sex work; 
  • $10,000 to the DTES Neighbourhood House to stabilize operations and maintain services for families and vulnerable adults living in poverty while it develops a fundraising strategy.
                       
Council is also investing $175,000 in the successful street-cleaning grants program, which allows local social enterprise organizations to employ individuals with barriers to employment.
 
The grants were approved as follows:  $115,000 to Save Our Living Environment/United We Can; $35,000 to Family Services of Greater Vancouver – Street Youth Job Action; and $25,000 to the Kettle Friendship Society – SEED Employment Program. All three grants support supplementary cleaning of sidewalks, lanes and public spaces in the Downtown Eastside, downtown Vancouver and Commercial Drive areas. Supplementary street cleaning covers extra services outside the scope of general City street cleaning and provides job support and life skills training opportunities for youth and adults with employment barriers.
 
As part of the Hastings Legacy Fund, a public benefit created as part of the rezoning conditions for Hastings Park in 2005, $120,000 in grants were awarded to five community programs. The Hastings Community Association (two grants), Hastings North Business Improvement Association, Hastings North Area Planning Association and Kiwassa Neighbourhood House received grants that will support a public safety initiative, a youth action committee, community celebrations, and a year-round litter cleanup campaign.

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