Today, the City of Toronto opened applications for 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 Fund, which was first established in 2016, provides financial assistance of up to $3,000 for initiatives that address the impact of a violent traumatic incident within a neighbourhood or across multiple communities. The purpose of the Fund is to 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.
A total of $200,000 is available through the Community Crisis Response Fund. There are two funding streams: general, and youth-led. In 2020, Toronto City Council allocated $2 million for youth violence prevention grants and an additional $100,000 to fund the creation of this new youth-led Community Crisis Response Fund.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, the types of community initiatives eligible for funding has been revised to reflect the need for physical distancing. Examples of virtual initiatives and activities now eligible for funding include: community-based healing sessions to support coping, resident engagement activities; training or workshops; and community mobilizing and/or planning activities. Applications are encouraged to deliver culturally responsive activities that are reflective of the ethno-racial communities impacted by community crisis incidents.
These new funding parameters will be in place until September 1, 2020, or as amended with direction from the Medical Officer of Health. Funding is available to help communities coordinate a local response to the impacts of violent incidents that have occurred since February 1, 2020.
Organizations eligible for funding include not-for-profit and faith-based organizations in partnership with community agencies. Potential applicants can join a virtual information session on June 12 to learn more about the fund and how to apply.
More information about the Community Crisis Response Fund is available on the City’s Community Crisis Response Fund webpage.
“The City is committed to supporting the well-being of communities affected by violence during this pandemic. In these unprecedented times, the Community Crisis Response Fund will help communities respond to a crisis in a way that meets their needs and provide virtual supports and experiences that foster healing and community resilience.”
– Mayor John Tory
“The COVID-19 pandemic presents exceptional challenges for communities as they attempt to come together to deal with the aftermath of violence. This funding will contribute to their efforts to meet their unique needs at a time of converging crises.”
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson, Ward 21 (Scarborough Centre), Chair of Economic Development and Culture Committee
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