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. Three of these projects are Cranbrook based.
“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.”
Also in Cranbrook, the Community Connections Society of Southeast BC will receive $180,760 to provide access to free, short-term focused walk-in counselling services to families, individuals and couples experiencing distress.
And the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce will receive $25,500 to provide meaningful work experience for people with vulnerabilities and free refurbished computers to community members in need, bridging the digital divide
For more information about the program, visit ourtrust.org/socialgrants. To learn all the ways the Trust supports social well-being in the Basin, visit ourtrust.org/social.
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.