Columbia Basin Trust announces its most recent Social Grants recipients
From young to old, people with diverse needs from around the Columbia Basin will benefit from 16 projects aimed at improving their social well-being. These projects are being funded by $1 million in Social Grants from Columbia Basin Trust.
“Our goal is to strengthen social well-being and address social issues in Basin communities,” said Aimee Ambrosone Columbia Basin Trust Director, Delivery of Benefits. “All of these projects are taking concrete actions that will have lasting effects, both on the individuals who access the services and on overall quality of life in our region.”
The Ktunaxa Nation Council is one of the grant recipients. They are developing and delivering a culturally appropriate Aboriginal justice system.
“This project will be based on the Medicine Wheel and use a holistic approach to address the areas of spiritual, emotional, mental and physical well-being,” said Debbie Whitehead, Social Sector Director. “Many of our Aboriginal young people are not only affected by developmental disabilities, they lack connection to culture and family. Without guidance and direction, they are vulnerable and easy prey to be welcomed into the crime community. The Ktunaxa Nation is committed to ensuring Aboriginal people involved in the justice system are not falling through the cracks. Our hope is this project will help to circumvent crime involvement and reduce recidivism by addressing the root causes of criminal behaviour.”
Another recipient is the Golden Family Center Society. It will increase its affordable counselling options to help people deal with challenging developmental and life concerns, including family issues, trauma, grief and loss.
“There is a high demand for affordable counselling services in Golden,” said Helena Oosthoek, Executive Director. “Our hope is that by introducing single-session walk-in counselling to our community, people can get some help when they feel their need is highest. Anyone can access walk-in counselling support with the intent that they will leave this single session with encouragement and a plan for action. Single-session counselling will not work for everyone, but it will be a welcome new option.”
Another recipient is Arrow and Slocan Lakes Community Services. It will continue to develop and operate a social enterprise—consisting of shredding, recycling and firewood services—that will provide training and long-term employment opportunities for people with diverse abilities.
“Our goal is to create awareness and a sense of inclusion for all of our folks that possess some unique and special abilities,” said Tim Payne, Executive Director. “The social enterprise can help give them a platform to showcase the skills that they have and hopefully open doors for them to obtain ongoing employment. They are an integral part of our community and the social enterprise allows us to reinforce their value to the community and give them a sense of belonging.”
Another recipient is the Nelson Community Services Society. It will be continuing its Nelson Street Outreach Program, which responds to the immediate and longer-term needs of the city’s growing “street culture” population.
“People are taking the Street Outreach Team’s offers of help to get into housing, to go to addictions treatment and to take care of their health and mental health needs, and generally feel like someone cares about them and how they are doing,” said Rona Park, Society Executive Director and Chair of the Downtown Nelson Street Culture Collaborative. “There are lots of challenges in doing the work, but the members of the Collaborative, which includes several Baker Street business owners and police, believe we are on the right track and are getting closer to offering the kind of caring, coordinated responses we’ve been hoping for since the outset of the project.”
See the backgrounder for a description of all 16 projects.
The Trust has distributed more than $6 million to improving social well-being in our communities since starting the Social Grants program in 2012.