United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island (UWCNVI) is investing in a second round of funding from the federal government’s Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) to support vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a media release from the organization.
UWCNVI will grant $380,000 to local communities and service agencies. The application process opened Oct. 6 and remains open until noon on Oct. 30.
“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,” said Signy Madden, UWCNVI executive director.
Applications fit into two streams — initiatives supporting people experiencing homelessness in the Mt. Waddington, Comox Valley, Campbell River and Port Alberni areas and agencies throughout UWCNVI’s geographic area experiencing an increase in demand.
“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,” said Madden.
The funds may be used for immediate needs and priorities related to the impact of COVID-19. This includes supporting individuals in accessing income supports and financial coaching; mental health and wellness supports, including crisis counselling and peer support; and 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 Madden.
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 COVID-19 in the two streams. The funding is intended to support vulnerable Canadians, including: low-income seniors; women; children and youth; persons with disabilities; members of the LGBTQ2S+ community; refugees; Indigenous peoples and members of racialized communities.