Government of Canada’s Community Services Recovery Fund supports pandemic recovery of South Okanagan Similkameen organizations.
Penticton BC: Community service organizations in the South Okanagan Similkameen have received a boost to their pandemic recovery through the Government of Canada’s Community Services Recovery Fund.
The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen was responsible for delivering $306,000 from the Fund. A total of $900,786 was awarded to projects by 22 organizations in the South Okanagan Similkameen.
The Penticton & Area Access Centre is a beneficiary of funding from the Government of Canada’s Community Services Recovery Fund through the Community Foundation. The Access Centre saw everything about their operations affected by the pandemic. They lost 50% of their staff and many of their highly experienced volunteers. They had to quickly adjust to new policies and remote work scenarios necessitated by the pandemic, at the same time trying to manage dramatically higher demand for services they had traditionally delivered face-to-face. They experienced a significant drop in revenues because they could no longer run their annual fundraising events. The mental health of their remaining staff suffered due to heightened stress at work, leading to more incidences of medical leave.
Despite all these challenges, the Access Centre continued to deliver its vital services to the community. Now, they are applying what they learned to build a stronger and more resilient organization. “Like so many community service organizations across the country, the pandemic deeply challenged us,” said Brandi Beckett, Executive Director of the Access Centre. “With the help of the Community Services
Recovery Fund, we are already making significant progress towards building our resilience to weather future challenges. The improvements we are making are definitely driving us forward in our work helping people navigate social systems in our region.”
The Community Services Recovery Fund is a one-time, $400 million investment by the Government of Canada to support Canada’s community services organizations as they adapt and modernize in response to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Community Foundations of Canada, United Way Centraide Canada and the Canadian Red Cross are administering the program.
“We’re very proud to announce this funding, and to celebrate the collective investment made in our region through the Government of Canada’s Community Services Recovery Fund,” said Aaron McRann, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen. The organizations benefiting from this funding have learned hard lessons from their pandemic experience and determined the steps they need to take to become more resilient—through their pandemic recovery and beyond. We’re excited to support them on their journey.”
“Community service organizations are at the heart of communities like the South Okanagan Similkameen, creating a sense of belonging from coast to coast to coast. The Community Services Recovery Fund will enable organizations like the Penticton and Area Access Centre and others that serve our diverse communities to adapt and modernize their programs and services and to invest in the future of their organizations, staff and volunteers. Together, we can rebuild from the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic and build a more just and equitable future for those in the South Okanagan Similkameen,” said the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Jenna Sudds.
The organizations receiving funding through the Community Foundation are listed on its website. To learn more about the Fund and to view a map of funded projects across the country, please visit: Community Services Recovery Fund
Kevin Ronaghan, Grants & Community Initiatives
Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen