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Vancouver Foundation Statement on its Support for the Carnegie Community Action Project

Vancouver Foundation has a long history of funding worthwhile projects in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) that help homeless, low-income and marginalized residents overcome barriers and provide new opportunities for social and economic well-being.
April 16, 2013 -- Vancouver Foundation Statement on its Support for the Carnegie Community Action Project
 
Vancouver Foundation has a long history of funding worthwhile projects in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) that help homeless, low-income and marginalized residents overcome barriers and provide new opportunities for social and economic well-being.
 
 
As a broad funder of community projects throughout British Columbia, we are concerned that the recent focus on protests and demonstrations in the Downtown Eastside is overshadowing the good work done by the Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP) and other not-for-profit organizations to address homelessness, systemic poverty and the lack of affordable housing options for low-income residents in the DTES.
 
Vancouver Foundation has been supporting a very specific initiative through the CCAP. We have provided the project with a three-year grant to implement a communitybased visioning project and to help low-income residents participate in the City of Vancouver's DTES local area planning process. This grant also includes funding to research the changing state of housing stock in the DTES.
 
As a recipient of a multi-year grant, CCAP must provide Vancouver Foundation with an annual written report on all activities conducted and milestones reached related to the initiatives outlined in their grant application. They must also provide a financial report on how the funds were used. These reports are reviewed before subsequent payments are made.
 
We have received and reviewed the project's annual reports and continue to receive monthly reports on the project's progress. Over the last month, we also met with the project's coordinators and members of the Carnegie Community Centre Association's Board of Directors to express our concerns about the ongoing demonstrations in the DTES and have received assurances that our support was strictly limited to activities outlined in their grant application, such as participation in the local area planning process and research on housing.
 
Based on the reports we have received and the meetings we have had, we are satisfied that CCAP is implementing the project in accordance with its grant application and achieving the outcomes we expect of them. We have no reason to believe that our funding is or has been used for anything but the intended purpose.
 
In Canada, individuals and organizations have the democratic right to protest, as long as they conduct themselves in a lawful manner. While we may not agree with the position certain individuals or groups are taking, we respect their democratic right to express their views. However, we do not support criminal acts, especially when healthy public debate crosses the line to include violence and vandalism.
 
The CCAP plays a vital role in supporting low-income residents who want to participate in the Downtown Eastside local area planning process, and Vancouver Foundation supports these efforts to ensure all DTES residents can have a say in the future of their neighbourhood.
 
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