A series of Tri-Cities-based public safety initiatives received a combined six-figure grant from the province today (May 19).
The B.C. government has allocated $365,000 to projects in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody, set to provide services to help local victims of criminal activity, and experiencing gender-based violence and trauma.
The prevention and remediation campaigns are eight of 197 across B.C. granted more than $9.7 million, which will help pay for training, materials and necessary equipment.
Among the recipients include (in descending numerical order):
- $80,000 = Restorative Justice Association of BC (RJABC) 5th Year of Operations
- "This project will seek to further establish RJABC's role in supporting RJ programs in building capacity for victim‐centered, trauma‐informed, and culturally responsive restorative justice practices."
- $60,000 = RJABC 2nd Provincial RJ Symposium
- "This project seeks to offer engagement and learning opportunities for RJ programs and practitioners in building capacity for victim‐centered, trauma‐informed, and culturally responsive practices."
- $40,000 = ACCESS Youth Outreach Services Society Project Reach Out
- "This project will connect Outreach Youth Workers to transient or homeless youth to engage them in art therapy, cooking programs, and social activities in a mobile drop‐in center to reduce the numbers of street entrenched youth."
- $40,000 = Pathfinder Youth Centre Society Bean Around Books Beginnings Café
- "This project provides youth clients (aged 15 to 30) facing multiple barriers to employment who are at risk of becoming involved in the criminal justice system."
- $40,000 = PLEA Community Services Society of British Columbia Youth Art Engagement Project
- "This project keeps vulnerable kids (aged 10 to 18) safe from sex trafficking and exploitation, while at the same time, empowering them to raise awareness of this crime through the creation of their own social justice art."
- $40,000 = Tri‐City Transitions Society Healing Circles
- "This project supports Indigenous children who are survivors of domestic violence. This project aims to ensure Indigenous children feel safe in approaching, engaging, or exiting our programs."
- $34,000 = Communities Embracing Restorative Action (CERA) Society Specialized Training Initiative
- "This project that is dedicated to building capacity and improving service delivery. It will consist of recruiting a team of volunteers and taking them through specialized restorative justice training, after which they will be fully capable of facilitating restorative justice conferences with victims and offenders."
- $31,000 = School District 43 (SD43) — Indigenous Education Earth Spirit Healing Forest and Medicine Garden
- "This project empowers Indigenous youth and their community to grow and steward food and medicine plants in the Tri-Cities region.
"Combating crime in our communities can and should be addressed in many different ways; there's no one single solution," said Coquitlam–Maillardville MLA Selina Robinson in a release. "It requires multilevel approaches, and the projects receiving funding in the Tri-Cities reflect that."
"Our government is committed to building a safer B.C. by redirecting the profits of crime back into the local community," added Mike Farnworth, MLA for Port Coquitlam, deputy premier, solicitor general and public safety minister.
"Crime should never pay, and the seized funds collected through the sale of forfeited assets will help our local partners support victims and fight back against the cycle of repeat offending. By working together with community partners, we are creating stronger, more resilient communities."
The funds are distributed through B.C.'s civil forfeiture grant program to support community safety projects.
It's six areas of consideration include gender-based violence, Indigenous healing, crime prevention, restorative justice, domestic violence and intervention programming, and child and youth advocacy centres.