The provincial government doled out $75,400 in community gaming grants to four local groups that provide support services to children, youth and others that are in need.
According to the provincial government, the Boundary Community Hospice Association received $5000, the Sunshine Valley Child Care Association was granted $18,400, the Whispers of Hope Benevolence Association received $20,000 and the Boundary Women’s Coalition saw the highest grant, with $32,000.
Margie Henderson, co-ordinator of the Boundary Women’s Resource Centre and the one who prepared the coalition’s grant application, said that it applied for a larger grant ($45,000) but only received the aforementioned $32,000.
“We asked for $45,000 to cover all our costs however we were cut back by $8,000 last year and this year we still asked for the $45,000 but we got the same as we got last year ($32,000),” she said.
Henderson said that while the centre’s hours are reduced from 18 hours a week to 13, because the amount granted is less than the one applied for, the women’s centre won’t see as much of a shortfall as the City of Grand Forks granted the coalition $7,000 as part of the grant in aid process.
“The $8,000 that the community grants cut us by last year, we now have $7,000 of that back thanks to the city,” explained Henderson.
“We can provide more programming and that’s what was cut mostly with that five-hours a week (reduction). Thanks to the city, we will be able to provide the programming we were providing before the cut backs.”
She said that the money will also go to pay for operational costs like rent, utilities, bills etc. and will also pay for the programs the centre offers, such as drop-in hours and workshops.
The Sunshine Valley Child Care Association provides childcare for children up to 12 years of age and each of its teachers are certified.
According to Fatima Faria, the association’s executive director, the $18,400 the association received will be used for operational costs and will help keep rates reasonable.
“It’s operational, it helps us to keep our doors open,” Faria said.
“That would be $18,400 that we would have to fundraise in the community in order to help keep our childcare fees low. It’s definitely a great help.”
Without the grant, Faria said that quality childcare would be a lot more expensive and the burden would go to the parents and when quality childcare is not available they might resort to unlicensed providers.
More than 1,700 across the province received funding and more than $32 million was granted by the government in this latest round of grants.