Local resident and actively engaged community member, Courtney Baker, recently received funding from the Vancouver Foundation to assist LGBTQ2+ locals experiencing financial hardship.
The funding comes from the Vancouver Foundation’s 2020 Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grants (R-NSG) program, a program that strives to connect people to community by providing grants to individual led and small scale projects that comply with current public health regulations. Baker applied to the program with the aim of supporting the LGBTQ2+ community and their families with food, medical and prescription needs, as well as by hosting intentional space online for gathering.
“I feel that by individuals and a community group working together, we can truly ensure that all residents of the Elk Valley are considered and supported,” said Baker. “Community to me is about ensuring all people are considered and valued and this foundation-individual-organization partnership illustrates this perfectly.”
Baker, an ally and contractor for the Fernie Pride Society, partnered with the society to distribute the funding, admiring the dedication the organization has to ensuring the Elk Valley is a safe and equitable community for all. Feeling that the pandemic added financial stress, isolation, vulnerability and increased unemployment to the Elk Valley’s LGBTQ2+ community, Baker decided to distribute a total of $800 to selected recipients in the form of gift cards for groceries and medications.
“We know some members of our community suffer from isolation, low income, and poor health outcomes even before COVID-19,” said Kevin Allen, president of the Fernie Pride Society. “Anecdotally, we also know that we have individuals who did not qualify for some of the government supports provided for coronavirus unemployment, so we would like to help fill in some gaps.”
In order to be eligible for financial assistance through the program, recipients must reach out to the Fernie Pride Society with a confidential self disclosure of need and identification to the LGBTQ2+ community. Funding is limited and will stop once fully distributed. To obtain assistance and support, contact the pride society at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit ferniepride.ca for resources and more information.
Those interested in applying for the R-NSG program can do so until the end of July via Neighbourhoodsmallgrants.ca.