Community Fund spends $5.4 million to help ‘vulnerable’

About 46,000 breakfasts and snacks were served to York Region students through the Food for Learning program last year, and 325 of the region’s most vulnerable residents received shelter, meals, medical care and clothing through Inn from the Cold emergency shelter and supports.

Those were among the projects that received a combined $5.4 million in 2018 through York Region’s Community Investment Fund. In total, the fund helped more than 78,000 residents, with low to moderate income, access a variety of community and social programs with the goal of improving their well-being.

Also last year, more than 4,600 residents received support through the Transit Ticket program, which provides about $100,000 to non-profit community agencies to help buy transit fares for clients. The John Howard Society provided a weekly after-school program for 122 youth to promote healthy interactions with peers in a bid to reduce bullying and violence.

Through the Families and Schools Together program, about 240 newcomer parents and children received support with parenting skills development to help children’s academic performance and behaviours to improve their success and engagement in school.

Regional Council established the Community Investment Fund in 2002. It invests in preventative and early intervention services that achieve at least one of the following: social inclusion, community health, economic independence and housing stability. A new multi-year staggered funding model was implemented this year and the Commissioner of Community and Health Services approved funding of about $5.5 million to 43 projects.

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