Awarded Grants

Search or browse below to see past awarded Field of Interest grants. You may search by recipient organization name, project name, or city. Additionally, in the sidebar you may filter the grants displayed by year, interest or grant amount.

Canadian Mental Health Association - Prince George Branch

Expanding Employment - Year 2 and 3

The Expanding Employment project provides increased paid work experience and on the job site training to individuals who live with mental illness and substance use issues. Employees will have the opportunity to be trained by a professional chef in a catering business or work alongside an established crew on trail/yard maintenance, snow removal, gutter cleaning and small home repair jobs. These employment opportunities are in response to clients' requests to have "real jobs" and provide supportive work experience to assist in transitioning to community based employment. All prospective employees are matched with a support worker who will provide one on one vocational assistance and all will work on a team with a supportive trainer/leader who is in recovery. CMHA expects that some individuals will graduate to part or full time community based employment and all will benefit from increased independence and financial security which would lead to greater health outcomes.

CanAssist, University of Victoria

Apps for Employment

CanAssist proposes a two-year project, in partnership with community agencies, to create a suite of software tools that will help people with disabilities obtain and retain meaningful employment. In the first phase, CanAssist will tailor 2 of its existing software applications (apps) and develop 1 to 2 new apps and provide them to an initial group of clients. These clients, people with developmental disabilities, acquired cognitive challenges, ASD or FASD, will be identified by agency partners and, along with their job coaches, provide feedback to aid CanAssist in refining the apps. CanAssist will train job coaches and equip them to provide ongoing assistance to their clients. In the second phase, larger numbers of clients will use the apps in work-related activities. Surveys will be conducted to assess the apps’ effectiveness. Finally, the software and supporting materials will be made widely available online, providing a lasting legacy by establishing apps as a new best practice in employment-related support for those with disabilities.

Central Okanagan Community Food Bank

Pathways To Employment (PEP)

Launched in partnership with Service Canada in 2011, PEP is an employment skills building program assisting disabled persons who have little labour force attachment, develop the skills necessary to obtain and maintain employment. PEP builds personal capacity and reduces barriers through a structured, results oriented program offering real job skills development, practical experience, feedback and job search/employment supports. Two positions have been created: •Delivery Driver’s Helper (8 week program) •Community Kitchen Coordinator (16 week program) Participants are referred by partner agencies. They are co-supervised by our Op. Manager and agency coaches. Participant baseline (food bank usage, income, experience and skill inventory) is established, attendance and competencies are tracked and performance is reviewed. Successful participants gain valuable skills and leave the program job ready with an updated resume and referral letters. PEP is an ongoing, individualized job placement program. 3 program intakes are scheduled, with a max. of 2 participants enrolled per intake.

Clay Tree Society for People with Development Disabilities

Training and Support for Workers in the COCO Cafe - Year 2 and 3

Training and Support for Workers in the COCO Cafe - Year 2 and 3

Coast Mental Health Foundation

Low Barrier Employment for People with Mental Illness

For the past 30 years, Coast Mental Health has operated supported employment programs for people with severe mental illness. We have observed the difficulty people with severe mental illness have in returning to work due to the symptoms of their illness, their medication and their lack of confidence. Coast has seen that opportunities to work need to have structured expectations but offer the client flexibility, time to practice good work skills and to become accustomed to working. In 2009,Coast had the opportunity to develop a new low barrier employment program, the” Street Cleaning Crew” with funding from the City of Vancouver. The project hires and trains people with mental illness in skills required to clean community sidewalks, gutters and alleys of refuse and debris. The workers are supported by Peer Support Workers and supervised on the job by project staff until they regain their independent work skills. Once they reach that point the clients are encourage to find other paid employment if that is appropriate for their health.

Connec Tra Society

Are Disability Benefits in B.C. a Barrier to Employment?

Are disability benefits and the security they provide for people with disabilities serving to deter those very same people from searching for work? Additionally, what would happen if people with disabilities were allowed to retain their full benefits while working and earning income? ConnecTra Society, in cooperation with researchers at the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of British Columbia, proposes that the Government of British Columbia test the possibility that the benefits it currently pays monthly and annually to people with disabilities, in fact, pose a barrier to employment for a percentage of recipients – perhaps even a majority. This two-part research project proposes first to test the attitudes of people with disabilities with respect to work and receipt of benefits and, second, to test what happens when people with disabilities, currently receiving social assistance over the course of a full year, are able to seek employment without losing their benefits. Please see the attached proposal for greater detail.

Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association

Stable Management Vocational Development

CTRA offers several spheres of programming which contain individualized sub-programs (for example: introduction to competition, therapeutic horsemanship). We are hoping to develop and implement a “Stable Management Vocational Training” program under our “education” sphere, creating a vocational development program for persons with disabilities in the areas of equine husbandry, horsemanship, and stable management. This program would run parallel to our already existing therapeutic programs, running for 10 week sessions at a time. Participants will engage in a mixture of theory, applied lessons, and hands-on (supervised) practice – according to their ability and goals. Class would be appropriately limited and grouped to ensure adequate supervision and quality of instruction and will be taught by our CanTRA-certified instructors. As clients progress, we intend to provide opportunities in volunteer roles (as appropriate), in the intention of providing opportunities for applied development & bridging the gap between education and active participation in the local employment economy.

Cultivate Canada Society

Cultivate Canada Society – Urban Orchard

Sole Food Farm will develop an Urban Orchard on one of our established urban farm sites. We will continue to employ residents of the DTES and provide hands-on skills training in grafting, planting, pruning, maintaining and harvesting fruit trees in an urban environment. This project will directly increase the amount and diversity of local food made available in our community while reducing food miles, increasing urban tree canopy, and diversifying native pollinator food sources.

Independent Living Vernon


IL Vernon is partnered with Neil Squire Society to deliver the EmployAbility Program. This program runs 3.5 days/ week for 12 weeks at a time, 4 times per year. Participants do distance learning on the computer about employment topics, through a virtual classroom (eg. Moodle). In the afternoon, participants have group activities that focus on health and wellness: smart shop tour, agency visits, or discuss topics such as communication skills or managing your disability. Consumers are given the choice about what topics are covered that are relevant to them. There is a significant need for one on one support for consumers and increased focus on self esteem. IL Vernon is requesting funding to increase staff support from 20 hrs/week to 35hrs/week to meet the increased need for individual support. This increased time will provide time for one on one appointments, work through the 13 week "The Gift of Self Esteem" curriculum and develop a personal planning PATH document, which uses graphic facilitation to create a visual plan of employment goals.

Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver

Bagel Club Catering Social Enterprise Year 3

The Bagel Club Catering Social Enterprise project is a catering business that specializes in Vegetarian Mediterranean Cuisine. This service offers high quality food while training and employing adults with special needs. Participants learn all the elements of how to work and operate a catering business. These include meal preparations, food safety, and customer service. Participants are paid an hourly rate for their service. This is led by Bagel Club Catering trained staff, assisted by outside professionals such as chefs, nutritionists, and business people. Participants are trained and employed with Bagel Club Catering with the goal of part time employment. This project meets the growing need of training and employment opportunities for able special needs adults. Our persons served want to contribute to their community and society. It heightens their self worth and allows them to increase their income and lessen reliance on government funds. In addition, we see that in the past year there is a great need for this business in the community.

JustWork Economic Initiative

Social Enterprise Support Years 2 & 3

Our mission is to foster employment for individuals facing major barriers to work, particularly those with mental and physical disabilities. We do this through the social enterprises we support which provide (a) sustained, dignified, and meaningful employment for our participants and (b) a way for consumers to support social values through their purchases. Social enterprises have gained recognition as excellent tools for providing employment to individuals facing barriers to work, including those with disabilities. Through our own social enterprise work since 2006, we too have had success: 30 individuals facing major barriers had employment in 2010, 28 of these faced a disability, 17 of those 28 have been employed for more than one year, and 11 have been employed for more than two years.

Inclusion Langley Society

Youth Works 2012

This project proposes to provide summer employment opportunities for youth with developmental disabilities between the ages of 16 and 19. Generally this will be youth in grades 10-12, including youth who have just completed high school. This project will be managed by the Association in collaboration with the organizations' employment service, Partners in Employment, Langley School District #35 and a host of local businesses and employers. The project proposes to complete a discovery process in collaboration with school partners, ascertain each individual's employment skills and interests and match them with a suitable employment opportunity for a 6 week duration throughout the summer. Individuals will be provided with the required on the job support and coaching to ensure their success. The project proposes to track individual successes over a number of years to determine if access to summer employment improves the likelihood of students obtaining employment after graduation.

Sea to Sky Community Services Society

Mentorship Employment Program (MEP) - Years 2 & 3

The Mentorship Employment Program will provide opportunities for both young adults with developmental disabilities and the local business communities to broaden their expectations of how persons with disabilities can meaningfully contribute in the workplace. The Program will help participants discover and develop their interests and skills in the pursuit of employment opportunities, and will facilitate increased accessibility and inclusion in Sea to Sky communities and labour markets. The Program will provide participants with opportunities to explore 3 employment options through supported unpaid and short term employment experience in order to find the best/most appropriate employment opportunities, where both employee and employer needs are satisfied. SSCS is uniquely positioned to successfully deliver this program using our related experience and existing collaborative networks. We have been helping adults in their career choices since 1990 and have worked effectively with partners in many of our employment and disability focused programs.

Sunshine Coast Association for Community Living

Garden to Table Food Hub

SCACL is embarking on a three year initiative to develop their commercial store front into a sustainable social enterprise that offers community inclusion and employment opportunities to persons with disabilities. The concept is to operate a "Garden to Table Food Hub". The store front would offer sales of local produce and value added food products, resources, training in food production and catering, sustainable gardening workshops, community kitchens and a shared commercial kitchen. The "Food Hub" would offer exciting sustainable employment opportunities in agriculture and food production and expand social and community inclusion opportunities to persons who are marginalized by traditional work hours and places. The idea for the project came from meeting other successful social enterprises such as SOLE Foods in Vancouver and the growing of our own food over the past two years. SCACL has been meeting for over a year with community groups about the concept of the "Food Hub" and has several partnerships and consultants in place to assist in the development and success of the project.

The Garth Homer Society

Oak Bay High School Transition Pilot

The Oak Bay High School Transition Pilot Program is targeted to high school students with developmental disabilities, and their families, to support them in preparing and making effective choices concerning community inclusion, support programs, and employment after graduation. Working with students from grades 10 to 12, the program will create experiential learning opportunities that allow students to gain independent learning about the different possibilities open to them. The varied experiences provided — such as employment internships, post-secondary opportunities, volunteer participation, or other community inclusion activities — would allow students to make informed choices about their futures. It also allows the program facilitators to provide new perspective for individual students, their families, and others involved in their support, on each student’s potential to transition effectively after graduation, and to succeed and develop in different situations. Funding is being requested for Phase 3 of this project, from January to June 2013.

The Progressive Housing Society

SafeCity Micro Cleaning

SafeCity Micro Cleaning is a social enterprise project to employ Burnaby's homeless and near-homeless people in a supported environment. We propose a collaboration of two social service agencies in Burnaby--Progressive Housing Society and Burnaby Community Connections--with the support of Burnaby's business community. SafeCity will offer street, lane and parking-lot cleaning contracts to business improvement associations in Burnaby. There is a prospect of expansion to include the painting of waste containers in strata complexes which have been sprayed with graffiti. This project is a six-month pilot project with a goal to continue on a self-sustained basis. SafeCity will be a low threshold opportunity for people whose addictions and/or physical and mentall illness have kept them from the mainstream workforce for lengthy periods. This suported employment project will reintroduce these individuals to gainful employment while they are assisted with the issues that have marginalized them in the past. Over time, engaging in this project may be a stepping stone to real employment.

Victoria Brain Injury Society

Survivor, Supporter, Success!

The “Survivor, Supporter, Success!” program provides volunteer and employment training and mentorship to brain injury survivors. A large percentage of survivors are unable to return to their previous professions post-injury and must find gainful employment or volunteer opportunities in an environment that works with their disabilities. This program aims to rehabilitate and retrain survivors so they are able to volunteer or re-enter the workforce. Participants complete a peer support training course which enables them to become certified peer support volunteers. They develop transferable skills, including active learning and listening, problem solving, critical thinking, social perceptiveness, time management and communication skills. Once in their position as peer supporters, they support other survivors during their rehabilitation. This mutually beneficial program enhances the capacity and self-confidence of the peer supporters and is utilized as a stepping stone to paid employment, while providing recent survivors with educated, understanding peer mentors.

Victoria Cool Aid Society

Community Casual Labour Pool

The "Community Casual Labour Pool" project matches individuals looking for short-term work placements with local employers, generating income and opportunity for people with disabilities.

Victoria Disability Resource Centre

A GPS to Meaningful Employment for Persons with Disabilities

We want to create a continuum of sevices that will resutl in concrete systemic change and facilitate the employability of persons with disabilities. An individualized, non-prescriptive approach will encompass the entire process of reaching sustainable employment. This model will begin with a comprehensive person centred planning process that addresses barriers the individual encounters. Clients will be provided with a facilitated strategic planning process. Then the client will be matched with a mentor who will support them towards their employability goal. Secondarily, the VDRC has a history of facilitating disability awareness training with various stakeholders. However, this training has not been designed specifically with a focus on employment issues. We intend to modify this training to increase employers' awareness of and comfort level with addressing disability issues. Following the training, we will develop a workplace based mentorship program so that there is cross learning between the employer and person(s) with disabilities. Also, to follow on the work developed with employers by the Community Council's Quality of Life Challenge, we would develop a community based employer network interested in addressing systemic issues related to disability.