Join the webinar on June 12 at 2 p.m. to learn more about the Youth-led Community Crisis Response Fund.

 

The Youth-led Community Crisis Response Fund provides financial assistance of up to $3,000 for youth-led, youth-driven projects or activities that address the impacts of a violent traumatic incident within a neighbourhood or across multiple communities.

The Fund will help youth to 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 support a response 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.

The project or activity must meet all of the following:

  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 Priority section)
  4. For incidents that 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 applicants must be a youth-led group and/or a youth-led not-for-profit (unincorporated/incorporated)
  7. MVP (Most Vulnerable People) Youth will be the primary focus population of the activity
  8. All youth-led groups must be mentored and assisted by a supportive adult such as a youth worker or a staff member from a community agency
  9. Applications must be supported by a City of Toronto Community Development Officer (CDO) from the Community Crisis Response Program (CCRP) or the Youth Violence Prevention Community Development Officer from the Youth Development Unit

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

Definitions

Youth-led

a group, organization/agency or initiative that is predominately created, devised, governed, staffed and implemented by young people. Youth age for project participants: 13- 29

MVP (Most Vulnerable People) Youth

Youth most vulnerable to being involved and impacted by serious crime and violence that are experiencing trauma from community violence exposure (PTSD and unresolved trauma). The Toronto Youth Equity Strategy (TYES) recognizes that there are various and intersecting factors that affect youth’s resilience and vulnerability to involvement in serious violence and crime. The term MVP Youth (Most Vulnerable People) is used to describe youth who face multiple and/or intersecting vulnerabilities identified in the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services’ Roots of Youth Violence report. These roots include: Poverty, Racism, Community Design, Issues in the Education System, Family Issues, Health/Mental Health, Lack of Economic Opportunity and Issues in the Justice System. Through the City’s work on gender-based youth violence, Ability, Homophobia & Transphobia have been added as roots of youth vulnerability.

Crisis

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.

Your application must demonstrate that your initiative responds to a community-wide trauma-inducing incident with activities delivered and spaces cultivated specifically geared to MVP Youth. 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 youth 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 youth to reflect on the impact the incident has had or is having on the community and youth themselves (e.g. small, closed virtual groups with appropriate facilitators for a number of sessions)
  • Assist youth in identifying needs (e.g. using safe online platforms to ask what young people in the community might need as supports and resources specifically for youth)
  • Provide youth an opportunity to envision hope and direction for the future, for example creating and curating an art project that can be shared online

2. Community capacity-building activities that:

  • Involve youth input and participation in planning, implementation and feedback of activities (e.g. talking to or polling youth in the community to determine what is needed and tracking the number of young people who participate)
  • Help youth to develop skills, resources and to initiate community change (e.g. creating a youth specific resource guide that can be shared via online mediums such as email, SnapChat, Twitter and Instagram)
  • Build on the strengths of community (e.g. create a Google Map of virtual, community-based resources available for young people).

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 or 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) for youth
  • Virtual training or workshops for youth
  • 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 as of February 1, 2020.

Apply Now

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