United Way issues 34 grants totalling over $850,000

GUELPH – United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin will issue 34 grants totalling over $852,000 to local organizations through the Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF).

The grants will “support vulnerable members of our community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” officials stated in an Aug. 4 press release.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to support our communities in this way,” said Rick McCombie, interim executive director at United Way.

“These funds have allowed our community partners to think of new ways to support those who need our help right now and address new and emerging issues head on over the coming months and that is a wonderful thing for our community.”

In May, United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin launched a call for applications for the ECSF, which ius funded by the federal government and administered in collaboration with United Way, Community Foundations of Canada and the Canadian Red Cross.

Forty-seven applications were received from organizations in Guelph, Wellington and Dufferin, with a total ask of over $1.9 million.

A volunteer-led grants committee reviewed the applications, working  closely with local community foundations.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is having disproportionate health, social and financial impacts on vulnerable Canadians,” stated Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

“The Government of Canada is pleased to work with its trusted partners to support the community organizations serving those most in need during this crisis.”

Successful applications are addressing a number of issues across our community, including food insecurity, mental health and addictions, housing, domestic violence, seniors and social isolation.

“These are issues that our community faced before and COVID-19 has only exacerbated,” said McCombie. 

“We know many are struggling right now and even as we move into more things reopening, we know vulnerable populations in our community will continue to need support moving forward.

“We are pleased to have been able to award some of this funding to projects that will not only assist in the short term, but set-up services for the long term.”

Community organizations located in Wellington County that will receive a grant include:

  • Alzheimer Society Waterloo Wellington, $25,000 for a therapeutic recreational program;
  • Family Counselling and Support Services for Guelph-Wellington, $61,445 for a walk-in/call-in single session mental health clinic in Harriston;
  • Township of Mapleton, $24,450 for the Good For You Food Box Program;
  • Guelph Wellington Seniors Association, $40,000 for Building Bridges through Community Development;
  • The Seed, $50,000 for the Huron Street Warehouse for Food Security in Guelph-Wellington;
  • East Wellington Community Services, $50,000 for a youth centre;
  • Children’s Foundation of Guelph Wellington, $22,750 for Free to Grow At Home;
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters Centre Wellington, $20,000 for a virtual mentoring program;
  • Everdale, $13,900 for growing 40 tonnes of food;
  • Guelph-Wellington Women In Crisis, $3,000 for remote technology assistance for the Rural Support Program;
  • Family Counselling and Support Services for Guelph-Wellington, $5,000 for a men’s engagement program;
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Wellington, $10,000 for a virtual mentoring program;
  • ARCH, $39,900 for harm reduction support during COVID-19;
  • Wellington Dufferin Guelph Drug Strategy, $12,500 for peer and lived experience support;
  • Canadian Mental Health Association – Waterloo Wellington, $10,000 for a self-monitoring tool for older adults; and
  • Guelph Wellington Seniors Association, $9,000 for a food delivery program.

These allocations are in addition to the $175,000 distributed through United Way and the COVID-19 Community Response Fund, in partnership with the Guelph Community Foundation, and $71,000 allocated through the New Horizons for Seniors fund in April.

For a full list of the grants awarded through United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin, visit unitedwayguelph.com.