Today, Mayor John Tory announced the recipients of the youth violence prevention grant to support programs aimed at helping youth who are more vulnerable to violence in communities across the city.
The grant will see approximately $2 million in annual funding for up to three years, allocated to 12 community organizations to implement programming in 10 communities identified as Neighbourhood Improvement Areas and/or revitalization sites. The recipients include one Indigenous-specific organization that will work across several communities.
The community organizations that will receive funding:
The 10 communities were selected for investment based on a data-driven approach that identified a high number of incidents in these communities. Data was compiled from Toronto Police Services, FOCUS, Toronto Community Housing and the Community Crisis Response Program (CCRP).
On May 4, eligible organizations were invited to apply for the grant by submitting a letter of intent. Shortlisted organizations were then invited to present their programs, which were recorded and distributed to the grant review panel. A total of 70 letters of intent were received for the 10 neighbourhoods/areas. Fifty-two organizations were shortlisted to record a 15-minute pitch presentation to the panels.
The roots of community violence stem from inequities in the city and diminishing social determinants of health that often leave young people and their families vulnerable. If left unattended, these inequities can manifest into complex conditions, including community violence.
The programming that will be implemented by these community organizations will be aimed at violence prevention and interruption for youth, age 10 to 29, and will include effective community engagement approaches, trauma-informed programming, leadership development, employment development and mental health supports.
Year one project activities will take place between now and June 2021. Second- and third-year funding will be contingent upon a satisfactory annual report and budget expenditure and forecasting submission. Each recommended organization will be asked to provide a work plan for its evaluation model to ensure that strong outcomes and effective measures are in place.
“The Community Youth Violence Prevention Grants will provide vital funding to organizations across the city who are doing important work helping young people that are more vulnerable to violence. By providing access to vital supports and services, we can help ensure that kids in Toronto have a bright and more flourishing future without the risk of getting involved in violence or crime. As a city we need to do our best to protect our youth and the neighbourhoods that need it the most.”
– Mayor John Tory
“The organizations receiving this funding have proven track records of success working with youth most vulnerable to involvement in violence and serious crime. The funds will enable them to implement programs that equip at risk young people with the life skills they need to make positive choices and to build more productive and positive lives.”
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Ward 21 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee
“Violence in one community means violence in the City of Toronto; this grant is a step towards us taking a collective responsibility for every community and to condemn the conditions that create violence just as firmly as violence itself. CEE and Generation Chosen plan to take a person-centred approach to this work and address the conditions that surround acts of violence.”
– Agapi Gessesse, Executive Director CEE Center for Young Black Professionals
“The Neighbourhood Group is grateful to receive a Youth Violence Prevention Grant from the City of Toronto. This multi-year investment in community solutions and partnering with local youth and parents and community leaders is essential. We support all levels of government to engage urgently and in co-ordination to reduce violence and create opportunity, safety and equity for youth in Toronto.”
– Bill Sinclair, President and Chief Executive Officer (he/him), The Neighbourhood Group Community Services
“The Indigenous Youth of Toronto face many barriers to accessing the services, supports and programs that they have self-identified as important. Over the past eight years, the ENAGB Indigenous Youth Program has worked diligently to support youth in breaking through barriers to their current success. To be able to share at this moment that ENAGB is a new non-for-profit registered charity and is the only indigenous youth led agency providing social support marks history in the making. It is with great pleasure that we receive the Youth Violence Prevention Grant as it could not come at a better time, as it will support ENAGB to continue to work with Indigenous youth to de-escalate violence that occurs within their lives and to address the intergenerational trauma that flows through the veins of our society. It is only through the continued support of institutions like the City of Toronto that we can help support indigenous youth in the healing process detailed throughout the work done by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”
– Cynthia Bell-Clayton, Executive Director, Eshkiniigjik Naandwechigegamig, Aabiish Gaa Binjibaaying – ENAGB Youth Program
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