The City of Toronto has resumed its Community Crisis Response Fund to help communities to respond to the impact of violent incidents and associated crises during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The General Community Crisis Response Fund provides financial assistance of up to $3,000 for initiatives that address the impacts of a violent traumatic incident within a neighbourhood or across multiple communities.

The Fund will help communities develop or implement their own activities and initiatives and provide tools to improve community resilience and wellbeing in the event of a community-wide, trauma-inducing act of violence, such as a gun-related incident, stabbing, swarming, etc.

Funds are available to help communities respond to the impacts of violent incidents that have occurred since February 1, 2020. Funding will support projects for up to a six-month period or as amended with direction from the Medical Officer of Health.

This General Community Crisis Response Fund is intended to assist communities (local neighbourhood or community of common bond) with one-time funding to develop or implement their own crisis response projects and devise support tools in order to improve community resilience and wellbeing.

The fund can also support faith-based groups with coordinating virtual accessibility of healing and recovery activities around grief and loss.

Crisis Definition

For the purpose of the fund, a crisis is a community-wide, trauma-inducing physical act of violence (shooting, shots fired, stabbing, swarming) that may or may not result in life-threatening injury or death. The crisis must have an impact on the living conditions or health status of the community and prevent the normal coping ability within the community.

Faith-based groups can utilize the fund to assist with healing and recovery efforts around grief and loss. For example, the fund can be used to support the virtual accessibility of community healing activities such as healing sessions, vigils and viewings that are open to everyone in the target population and where appropriate. The fund cannot be used to financially support religious based activities or programs. Faith-based groups will be required to work with a local, not-for-profit organization to apply for and access the fund. Groups who apply without a clear demarcation between religious and community service functions at the program and budget levels are not eligible for this fund. All eligibility criteria will need to be met in order to apply.

To access the fund faith-based groups will need to do the following:

  • Faith-based groups must connect with a Community Development Officer to support the process of applying to the fund
  • Faith-based groups need to partner with a community-based agency to apply for and access the funds
  • If a group does not have an existing relationship with a community-based agency, the Community Development Officer can provide support with connecting a group to an appropriate community agency
  • The community-based agency can apply to the fund and work with faith-based groups to plan, deliver and implement the eligible activities
  • The community-based agency must meet all of the eligibility criteria, follow the required processes, respond to all communications from the fund, and meet the reporting expectations of the fund

The project or activity must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Occur within Toronto
  2. Respond to specific critical incidents in Toronto i.e. shooting, shots fired, stabbing, swarming
  3. Contribute to local community capacity building and/or community healing (see Funding Priorities section)
  4. Incident must have occurred since February 1, 2020
  5. Activities must follow physical distancing protocols as indicated by Toronto Public Health
    1. Think about appropriate and safe activities (i.e., online virtual activities and engagements). You can discuss ideas for activities with the Community Development Officer supporting your application.
  6. The applicant must be a not-for-profit group (unincorporated or incorporated)
  7. Faith-based applicant groups need to work with a local not-for-profit organization to apply and access funds
  8. Faith-based applicant groups can only use the fund to support community service functions. Religious activities are ineligible.
  9. Application must be supported by a City of Toronto Community Development Officer (CDO) from the Community Crisis Response Program (CCRP)

Project funds requested for subsidizing individual needs and/or to fund existing community initiatives responding to COVID-19 needs, are not eligible.

Your application must demonstrate that your initiative responds to a community-wide trauma-inducing incident with appropriate activities. Funding priority will be given to applications that meet the following criteria and guidelines:

1. Community healing and resiliency activities or projects that:

  • Provide opportunity for the community to connect and support one another to process feelings on the impact the incident has had or is having on the community (e.g. virtual coping skills sessions or virtual meditation sessions)
  • Allow community to reflect on the impact the incident has had or is having on the community (e.g. organizing small, closed virtual groups with appropriate facilitators for a number of sessions)
  • Assist in identifying community needs (e.g. using safe online platforms to ask what people in the community might need as supports and resources)
  • Provide the community an opportunity to envision hope and direction for the future (e.g. creating and curating an art project that then can be shared online)

2. Community capacity-building activities that:

  • Involve community input and participation in planning, implementation and feedback of activities (e.g. talking to or polling people in the community to determine what is needed and tracking the number of people who participate)
  • Help community to develop skills, resources and to initiate community change (e.g. creating a resource guide that can be shared via online mediums such as email, SnapChat, Twitter and Instagram)
  • Build on the strengths of community (e.g. creating a Google Map of virtual, community-based resources that are available)
  • All projects and activities must clearly follow physical distancing guidelines and have a clear safety plan to engage and run activities online.

Fundable Items, Activities and Initiatives

The following examples describe activities and initiatives that can be supported by the fund:

  • Local neighbourhood virtual engagement sessions on coping, healing and/or processing feelings, virtual consultations (gathering input and feedback)
  • Virtual trainings or workshops
  • Virtual community mobilizing and/or virtual planning activities
  • Facilitation/speaker’s fee
  • Short-term staffing needs to provide support to the community (if applicable)
  • Other activities/initiatives will be reviewed on a case-to-case basis

You must contact the Community Development Officer in your area prior to applying.

The fund will be used to support projects that will respond to violent incidents/community crisis that occurred since February 1, 2020.

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Decision Making

Applications will be reviewed on a weekly basis and a decision will be sent via email within five to 10 business days of the acknowledgement receipt of application. Any inaccurate or incomplete information could result in the application being removed from consideration for funding. Should the City require any clarification on the application, we will contact the applicant via email.

Questions

If you have questions about the Community Crisis Response Fund, please contact the Community Development Officer for your area.