By Rosalind Russell – United Way Centraide North East Ontario and government politicians were in Little Current last Friday to announce over $2.2 million in funding to support 25 projects in Northeast Ontario through the Community Services Recovery Fund.
AMK MP Carole Hughes says the Fund is a one-time investment of $400 million to help community service organizations including charities and non-profits to adapt as part of their pandemic recovery strategies.
She adds the funding will be distributed throughout the north-east including Manitoulin Island, Cochrane, Nipissing, North Bay, and others.
She says $83,938 will fund Northeastern East Manitoulin and the Islands Public Library for the creation of an equipment library to provide community members with access to recreational activities while $16,500 will be invested to fund the Manitoulin Legal Clinic for the creation of a digital access point to improve capacity and reach clients in rural communities.
The following projects are being supported in Cochrane:
· $84,600 was invested to fund North East Ontario Communications Network Inc. to increase digital skills education to youth;
· $74,235 was invested to fund Seizure & Brain Injury Centre for the upgrade and modernization of their internal systems;
· $40,000 was invested to fund South Porcupine Food Bank Inc. for strategic planning to build resiliency and better respond to the community’s needs;
· $22,186 was invested to fund Timmins Learning Centre for the purchase of new digital/technological equipment for literacy programs.
The following projects are being supported in Nipissing:
· $71,000 was invested to fund Amelia Rising Sexual Violence Support Centre to reduce barriers and connect with victims of sexualized violence by increasing technology and hybrid tools;
· $62,684 was invested to fund AIDS Committee of North Bay & Area to create an inclusive, accessible and flexible space to support the increased demand for educational programming, group facilitation, community building and mental health;
· $36, 020 was invested in Nipissing Regional Community Residential Hospice for the creation of a new bilingual website to provide education and training resources.
The following projects are being supported in Parry Sound:
· $61,711 was invested to fund Trinity Community Church to improve the sustainability and efficiency of food programs and increase food security;
· $49,000 was invested to fund Harvest Share Community Food Programs to adapt and enhance their Volunteer Program;
· $12,075 was invested to fund Rotary Club of Parry Sound to reduce barriers and connect with victims of sexualized violence through the improvement of technology and hybrid tools.
The following projects are being supported in Sudbury:
· $97,750 was invested to fund Northern Initiative for Northern Action to address the current and future needs of the community through hybrid programming, intake and training;
· $86,480 was invested in Afro Women and Youth Foundation to improve the lives of Black women and youth who are newcomers/refugees through adaptable and sustainable programs;
· $69,650 was invested to fund Cultural Industries Ontario North Inc. to adapt workforce education and training programs to support the transfer of skills and knowledge of emerging talent, workers, and individuals seeking new career paths;
· $62,488 was invested to fund Art Gallery of Sudbury to engage a broader community (Indigenous and vulnerable populations) to participate in visual arts education;
· $50,000 was invested to fund N’Swakamok Native Friendship Centre to meet the needs of the community through the revitalization of programming;
· $46,617 was invested to fund Sudbury Canoe Club to teach Olympic-style kayak and canoe racing skills to Indigenous and marginalized youth;
· $35,000 was invested to fund Big Brothers Big Sisters Association of the City of Greater Sudbury to invest in video conferencing technology to reach youth who aren’t able to attend in-person educational and skills-building sessions;
· $29,600 was invested to fund Sudbury Finnish Rest Home Society Inc to purchase wireless technology with hearing assistive support to deliver programs, improve safety, enhance the accessibility for the hearing impaired, and provide live stream capabilities;
· $25,410 was invested to fund Myths and Mirrors Community Arts Inc. to from an advisory committee to evaluate current mentorship program and create programming to best meet the changing and diverse needs of the community;
· $25,000 was invested to fund The Sudbury Kinsmen Family Centre Foundation to purchase laundry equipment for families using the House of Kin.
The following projects are being supported in Timiskaming:
· $46,452 was invested to fund St. Paul’s Emmanuel Community Church to enhance resources and broaden program by reducing existing physical barriers and expand technology/online presence;
· $33,000 was invested to fund First Baptist Church to revitalize programs and services;
· $6,500 was invested to fund Rotary Club of Temiskaming Shores and Area for the purchase of digital equipment to host virtual meetings and training.
Community service organizations are at the forefront of addressing communities’ needs. Since the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have struggled with increased demand for their services, reduced revenues, declines in charitable giving due to the rising cost of living, and a greater need to make use of digital tools. Many organizations are struggling to recover and adapt their services to the changing needs of Northeast Ontario.
“The Government of Canada’s Community Services Recovery Fund is supporting local organizations that are vital to our community,” says Mary Lou Hussak, Executive Director, UWCNEO. “These funds will help strengthen our ability to respond to the complex needs faced by residents in Northeast Ontario.”