By TOM GODFREY
Some top Toronto non-profit groups that perform vital work are being considered for special funding by City Hall for making our communities safer.
A North York group that reduces tension between Toronto Police and members of the Somali community; and one that tackles elder neglect and abuse are among those on a short list for funding.
Some 19 groups were selected from 84 that applied for $690,000 in City funding, according to officials.
The approval of the funds will be voted on this week by a Community Development and Recreation Committee at City Hall.
“The City does provide support to the not-for-profit sector through the funding of some programs,” said a report that was prepared for the Committee. “The program provides time-limited funding to community-based projects that help to create safe communities.”
The funds are from a Community Safety Investment (CSI) program that was approved in the 2014 budget.
Priority is given to projects dealing with the safety and violence prevention needs of children and youth, women and girls, people with disabilities and seniors, according to the report.
Other high risk areas include the Aboriginal community, immigrants and refugees, undocumented Torontonians and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.
The funding means groups like the Delta Family Resource Centre can continue helping South Asian and Somali Canadians break barriers with Toronto police.
“Through safety sessions and safety audits at the grassroots level the importance of youth-led community engagement and collaboration will be emphasized,” the group said on its website.
The FCJ Refugee Centre, on Oakwood Ave., is also being considered for aid for its work with vulnerable immigrants who are seeking refuge inCanada.
The Centre addresses the “poverty, isolation, access and opportunity needs for refugees”.
It also helps with the transitional housing for women and children as well as education initiatives.
The FCJ is involved in fighting the human trafficking of women and girls in Toronto.
The Malvern Family Resource Centre that works with seniors and elder neglect is also on the short list.
The Centre work with caregivers about elder abuse and conduct studies on the treatment of seniors.
The funding will help educate seniors and their caregivers about elder abuse and recruit multi-language volunteers to staff a caller line.
The group is planning a conference focusing on elder abuse and support.
Many people are familiar with the John Howard Society of Toronto that has been for years helping adults and youth in conflict with the law.
The funding “will increase the capacity of community agencies in Scarborough to support individuals to navigate through the criminal justice system,” the Society said.
About 150 community groups registered for the program and 50 attended an information session, City officials said.
The funds will range from $20,000 to $40,000 depending on the program.
Other groups up for funding include the Agincourt Community Services Association, Alexandra Park Community Centre, Bay Mills Youth Council. Chinese Canadian National Council and Community Action Resource Centre.