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Civil forfeitures result in grants for five Tri-City programs

Low Entropy, Yo Bro Yo Girl, Big Sisters, PLEA and SD43 will get cash from the province as part of the civil forfeiture grant program intake for 2023–24.
The Low Entropy Foundation Empower Home initiative includes co-executive director Vanessa Wideski and Natasha Cundy, director of outreach. The team and others met at the City Centre branch of the Coquitlam Public Library on Feb. 13, 2024.

Five groups will receive money to tackle community safety, gender-based violence and Indigenous healing in the Tri-Cities, the provincial government announced today, May 15.

The funding is being provided to the organizations via the civil forfeiture grant program for 2023–24.

In total, $8.2 million will be spent on 189 projects around B.C., including in the Tri-Cities:

  • $40,000 to the PLEA Community Services Society of BC for its Youth Art Engagement Project for vulnerable youth
    • The project in the Tri-Cities and West Vancouver ends with a public art gallery show.
  • $40,000 to the Yo Bro Yo Girl Youth Initiative Society for its Youth Mentorship and Empowerment Team (YMET)
    • providing individualized outreach to vulnerable youth ages 10 to 18 who are at risk of, or currently involved in, gangs, violence, theft, addiction and drug dealing in Coquitlam and Delta.
  • $38,227 to the Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland for its Power in Prevention (PiP)
    • a school-based group mentoring program that aims to prevent experiences of gender-based violence among girls, non-binary, transgender and gender-diverse youth populations in Coquitlam, Burnaby and Surrey, who are at risk or are survivors of violence.
  • $35,040 to the Low Entropy Foundation for its Thrift & Thrive Youth Internship Program
    • aimed to empower 20 at-risk 2SLGBTQIA+ and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) youth ages 16 to 24, through hands-on experience at a thrift store in Coquitlam. Youth will gain practical job skills and financial literacy.
  • $31,000 to School District 43’s Indigenous Education’s Learning & Connections through Food & Sacred Plants project
    • designed to help 1,000 students learn about Indigenous ways of growing, harvesting and sharing food and plant medicines in the Tri-Cities.

Since 2006, Victoria has handed out about $82.5 million of civil forfeiture recovery grants to help community groups around B.C.

This year, the money was distributed during Victims and Survivors of Crime Week, May 12–18.

“Everyone deserves to live in a community that is safe, healthy and secure,” said Port Coquitlam MLA Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, in a news release.

“That means addressing the root causes of crime and making sure victims of crime have the supports they need to thrive again. By redirecting funds from forfeited assets into community organizations and crime prevention projects, we are working toward safer and stronger communities for all British Columbians.”