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RFD- 4142 Business Items   Item #   11. b.    
Regular Council Meeting Agenda   
Meeting Date: 12/14/2020  
Title:    Temporary COVID-19 Relief to Community Groups - Peter
Department: Community & Protective Services  
Strategic Vision Element: Where People Choose to Experience Community - A vibrant place for community involvement and social wellness Related Goal: High quality leisure, recreational, commercial and social infrastructure and amenities as well as policies that meet the interests and needs of the greater community are in place and conveniently accessible.

Information
Request for Decision Summary
A notice of motion was brought forward by Councillor Stevenson at the Regular Council Meeting on Monday, November 23, 2020 to use Council Contingency funds to provide support for COVID-19 relief efforts to local community organizations, as determined by administration. 
Proposed Motion
That $27,000 be provided to local community organizations, as determined by Administration, to support their COVID-19 relief efforts and that the funds be allocated from Council Contingency.
Background/Analysis
While COVID-19 has and continues to affect everyone, not everyone is being impacted in the same way. Some vulnerable populations who were already experiencing fewer choices or opportunities to achieve good health, either before or during the pandemic, face the pandemic with a greater risk of direct impacts.
 
The Spruce Grove COVID-19 Recovery Survey found that supports for mental health and addressing social isolation is a priority in the community for pandemic recovery efforts, with 73% of respondents identifying it as important.
 
The City of Spruce Grove Social Effects of COVID – 19 Report Series highlights recent research identifying areas where systemic inequalities increase vulnerabilities for those already vulnerable. Some identified populations most impacted include:
 
Women
Women’s participation in the labour force is down to the lowest levels in three decades. Women are more likely to drop out of the workforce due to childcare needs and are known to be harder hit during an economic downturn. Women who are marginalized and experiencing poverty face even greater risk of loss of livelihood and more isolation increases vulnerability to violence in the home. Women are also key to successful economic recovery.
 
Visible Minorities and Newcomers
Increasing incidences of discrimination are contributing to poorer mental health for some groups and there are few affordable, culturally appropriate options for support in Spruce Grove. Research indicates that higher incidences of acute discrimination directed towards those of East Asian descent during the pandemic is resulting in higher levels of mental health symptoms compared to white residents in Canada. Between 2001 - 2016, 1,835 immigrants came to Spruce Grove, as of 2019 approximately 6 percent of Spruce Grove’s population is of Asian descent. 
 
Homeless and At Risk for Homelessness
Connecting people with stable housing and preventing housing breakdown remains a priority; however, where suitable housing is not available or where people experience barriers to accessing traditional supports, many people experiencing homelessness or poverty rely on community-based, non-profit, and voluntary organizations to provide them with a range of essential services.

Recognizing there are multiple needs in the community and considering availability and range of resource streams available, if Council approves this motion administration is recommending the following organizations be provided with funds from Council Contingency to support their recovery efforts for vulnerable populations:

Parkland Wellness and Refugee Welcome Space
  • This organization offers free holistic mental health care, programs, and services for refugees such as counselling, English language classes, and cultural awareness seminars. Sponsored counselling sessions are available for anyone with no other options. There are limited options for this type of service for Newcomers in the Tri-Region.
Women Building Futures
  • Women Building Futures offers industry recognized training and affordable housing for women looking to enter the construction, maintenance and driving industries. Women Building Futures offers women a new start in life through access to quality training, mentoring, and a range of supports.
NeighbourLink Parkland
  • NeighbourLink Parkland offers basic necessities to a wide range of vulnerable populations from unsheltered individuals, to single mothers, to families experiencing economic hardship, and are unable to access government assistance, having exhausted other resources, and are falling through the cracks in the system.
Pay Forward Kindness (PFK)
  • PFK offers unique outreach care and support directly to unsheltered individuals by meeting people where they are at in the Spruce Grove area.
Recommended Funding Amounts per Organization
 
 
Organization
 
Recommended Funding
 
Parkland Wellness and Refugee Welcome Space
 
$6,000
 
Women Building Futures
(to be earmarked for Spruce Grove residents)
 
$6,000
 
NeighbourLink Parkland
 
$10,000
 
Pay Forward Kindness (PFK)
 
$5,000
 
Total
 
$27,000
Options/Alternatives
Due to timing constraints administration is providing the recommended distribution and organizations.  Council can provide feedback on other potential local community organizations to provide funds to in order to support COVID-19 relief efforts or provide feedback on alternative funding amounts.
Consultation/Engagement
No formal public engagement process or request for applications was applied due to time constraints. Research and local knowledge of community resources and needs informs this recommendation.
Implementation/Communication
Administration will contact identified recipients directly and work with Corporate Communications to determine the appropriate level of public messaging.
Impacts
Local organizations offering critical supports to vulnerable and marginalized populations in Spruce Grove will continue to deliver services to those who most need them at a time when they are most needed.

Vulnerable residents have more options and opportunities to access vital services that support mental and physical wellbeing, social connectedness, economic mobility, and resilience.

Fiscal Impact
Financial Implications:
Council Contingency Total Budget - $75,000

Expenditures to date/committed:
Council Social - $3,300
City Centre Business Association - Public Market Event Support - $10,000
Canada Day Flag Initiative - $5,000
“Spruce Up Spruce” Fence Painting Initiative - $3,500
Rotary Club of Spruce Grove – COVID-19 Relief Efforts - $5,000
Park Upgrades in Linkside - $5,000
Pioneer Road Pedestrian Activated Flashers - $16,000 

Expenditures for consideration -  $27,000
Funds remaining in Council Council Contingency if approved -  $200
Attachments
No file(s) attached.

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