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The City of Regina has $500,000 in grant funds for harm reduction sites in the city and $200,000 for improving accessibility to sport programming
Photo by BRANDON HARDER /Regina Leader-Post
There are more public dollars available for the funding of harm reduction sites as well as money for improving access to sports in Regina this year.
During Wednesday’s community wellness committee meeting, city administration presented on the community investment grants program.
Laurie Shalley, director of parks, recreation and cultural services, noted the program offers $3.5 million per year in grant funding for culture, social development and sport and recreation in the city.
Recently council voted to allocate funds from the program to improve accessibility for sport and recreation as well as for harm reduction — with $200,000 going to sport and $500,000 to harm reduction.
Shalley said the grants can cover capital expenses like construction or staffing the sites and events.
The accessible sport and recreation grants are meant to enhance inclusion for people with disabilities or to “remove barriers to participation in adapted sport and recreation activity,” according to a slide during the presentation.
Coun. Cheryl Stadnichuk (Ward 1) asked how and when the grants are promoted.
City administration said the program is open to applicants between December and February of each year. But since funding for harm reduction and sports accessibility were only recently approved, those dollars will be available later this month.
Shalley said the city will reach out to community organizations and past applicants who may qualify for the two new streams of funding.
Stadnichuk said the Newo Yotina Friendship Centre is planning to open its harm reduction services and wondered if the centre would be eligible to apply for and to receive funding via these grants.
“Any organization undertaking work in the harm reduction area is eligible to apply. We are aware of some organizations doing work in this area, so we will be reaching out to them,” said Shalley, confirming the centre would be eligible.
In response to a question from Coun. Andrew Stevens (Ward 3), Shalley also confirmed the centre would still be eligible for a harm reduction grant if it accessed other grants from the city.
Reviewing the 2019 allocations, Stevens questioned if all the money was distributed.
“There is a substantial need in the community so I was wondering why that money was left on the table?” asked Stevens.
City administration said there’s essentially more requests than available grants, so not all applicants receive funding. Shalley said roughly 15 to 20 per cent of organizations that apply do not receive funding because the grants have all been snatched up and allocated.
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