A federally-funded program aimed at helping community organizations address homelessness amongst Indigenous peoples is now under the management of the Victoria Native Friendship Centre.
And the first application period is closing soon.
The Indigenous Reaching Home program, previously managed by the Capital Regional District, has $4 million in funding available through to the end of fiscal year 2024. Indigenous-serving organizations can apply for a portion of that funding for projects aimed at preventing or reducing homelessness.
“The goal is that Indigenous homelessness in Greater Victoria will be lessened or halved by 2025,” said the centre’s program administrator, Karryn Hall. “It’s a great fit with the mission of the centre … and it’s a very inclusive program.”
Having the program administered by an Indigenous organization allows for greater understanding of the nuances needed to have the greatest positive impact on the Indigenous community when reviewing funding applications, Hall said. Most importantly, she added, applicants are able to work face-to-face with centre staff to refine their projects and ensure the entire process is as inclusive as possible.
”We have quite a large Indigenous population which is quite varied from nation to nation. It’s a way for different nations, Metis, and Inuit to have one place to look to for additional funding to support homelessness programming they are looking to continue or start. It’s for our people, and the centre has always been a place where urban Indigenous people can come to feel like they belong.”
Funding applications will be accepted through Aug. 15, with approved projects receiving funding agreements starting in the fall. After the initial round of applications are processed, the plan is to accept subsequent ones on a rolling basis until funding runs out, Hall said.
For application details and project eligibility, visit vnfc.ca and find Indigenous Reaching Home under the programs and services tab.