Phoenix Foundation report highlights funding priorities in Boundary

Boundary organizations can begin applying for Phoenix Foundation grants on March 1

According to data compiled by the Phoenix Foundation and released in its latest Vital Signs report, vacancy rates for housing in Grand Forks were increasing, prior to the flood of 2018. Under study right now from the regional district, that availability of housing has likely remained stagnant or fell since.

Vital Signs, a study done every five years by the granting organization, surveys residents of the Boundary on their concerns, priorities and impressions of livability in the region. Out of the approximately 12,000 people who live between Christina Lake and Carmi, just under 500 filled out the survey, or around four per cent.

“It’s a snapshot of our Boundary region, to gauge the health of a number of sectors,” said Phoenix Foundation president Gary Smith.

Education

Boundary students are getting more face time with teachers, thanks to smaller than average class sizes, high school students are graduating at or higher than the rate of their provincial peers, but after Grade 12 are finding it challenging to pursue further education locally. The youth exodus marks a pinch in the hour-glass shaped graph that represents the ages of of the Boundary’s population. There is a significant drop off through the mid-20s.

Understanding the data, Vital Signs 2019 prescribes promoting “conversation between local employers and schools to create recruitment and training opportunities.” Nearly 200 survey respondents, or 39 per cent, noted that “limited course offerings” locally were perceived to be a barrier to additional training or education for residents. Workers in the Boundary with a background in trades outnumber, per capita, the workforce through the rest of B.C. and Canada at large.

Food Security

This past winter, lunch at the Anglican Church was drawing several dozen people per day. In 2019, the Boundary Community Food Bank saw a record number of clients – from children through single adults and seniors. More than one third of the Vital Signs survey respondents indicated that they “disagree or strongly disagree” that the cost of feeding themselves or their family was reasonable.

To feed the need, the Boundary, renowned for its growing capacities, forges on producing fresh food, locally.

Survey respondents also indicated that they would like to see the region double down on local sustainability, before resorting to trucking in food from elsewhere.

“These are things that we’d like to see,” said Smith of the actions prescribed to address the feedback on each of the nine key categories evaluated. “As we work towards a poverty reduction strategy [undertaken by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary], we can get everybody around the table from every single sector that’s available out there. And then people can take ownership of the issues that they can competently address.”

Granting

Vital Signs also serves as a directional tool for organizations applying for capital grants from the Phoenix Foundation. This year, there is nearly $81,000 available from the Phoenix Foundation, along with another pot of money the organization is managing for the Grand Forks Credit Union (GFCU).

The GFCU money is earmarked for projects that address community economic development, financial literacy and sustainable economics, reducing environmental impact and finally agriculture and local food sector development.

Grant committee chair Ted Invictus said that the number of people impacted by an organization’s project plays a key role in determining its viability for a grant. Likewise, applicants who can demonstrate the financial capacity to fund a project on their own (the Phoenix Foundation reimburses upon completion) are also prioritized.

Organizations looking to apply for funding are encouraged to submit a letter of interest as soon as possible. The deadline for letters is March 31. Submission forms and grant application information can be found at www.phoenix-foundation.ca.


@jensenedw
Jensen.edwards@grandforksgazette.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Community

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mayor Taylor to ask Grand Forks council to develop Bare Ass Beach

Taylor says making the beach more accessible to public will discourage future trespassers

Grand Forks demonstrators call for sustainable logging across the Boundary

Protest was one of many across British Columbia Friday, Sept.17

Grand Forks residents suing province, logging companies on behalf of 2018 flood victims

Lawsuit alleges B.C’s forest ministry and logging companies contributed significantly to devastating freshet

Two men killed in Hwy 3 collision west of Castlegar

The single-vehicle incident happened Thursday morning

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

Grand Forks demonstrators call for sustainable logging across the Boundary

Protest was one of many across British Columbia Friday, Sept.17

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read