City aims to help groups hit by funding cuts

New Westminster senior social planner John Stark -
New Westminster senior social planner John Stark
— image credit:

The City of New Westminster will help two community groups find funding to replace money the federal government is no longer providing.

The Hospitality Project and the Senior Services Society (SSS) lost $450,000 in funds for five projects as part of the Conservative government’s housing-first approach.

The Hospitality Project received $150,000 annually for its advocacy and referral programs. A city staff report written by senior social planner John Stark said the cuts will “make it more difficult to make referrals in cases of eviction and homelessness; contribute to increased street and visible homelessness; and place increased pressure on bylaw enforcement and police, with its associated costs.”

Ottawa also did not renew the SSS’s bus program ($50,000), information program ($50,000) and temporary housing program ($200,000). Another two of the society’s programs that are receiving a total of $70,000 a year are also under review.

The report said the society’s programs created a community friendly to all ages and abilities.

Council gave its blessing to Stark’s recommendation to work with the two organizations “to explore alternative funding opportunities and sources.”

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