Ontario announces over $13M to help youth facing social barriers

Jun 25 2020, 10:33 am

The Ontario government is investing more than $13 million to support community-driven and youth-led projects to improve the well-being of children, youth, and families facing economic and social barriers.

On Thursday, the premier said that the funding will flow through the 2020 Youth Opportunities Fund, a province-wide initiative that creates opportunities for young people and supports parents, guardians, and caregivers.

“It is our responsibility as government to support our young people and help them find a path to lifelong success,” said Ford.

“This funding will enable youth across the province to develop the skills they need to be better engaged in school, empower girls and young women to lead, address racism and discrimination, and give young people access to the programs that will help them become the next generation of leaders and community builders.”

The 2020 Youth Opportunities Fund will provide financial support to 43 community organizations that will benefit youth aged 12 to 25, and their families.

The following projects will be receiving funding:

  • Black Moms Connection, which focuses on economic empowerment for Black mothers across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)
  • Immigrants francophones d’Afrique pour l’intégration et le développement (IFAPID), which will support newcomers from Francophone African nations to navigate financial systems in Canada
  • Earthling Art Collective, to provide development and mentorship opportunities for youth leaving care and the justice system in Thunder Bay
  • Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment & Training, to help Indigenous youth in the GTA access employment and training opportunities in the skilled trades

“The Youth Opportunities Fund is a way for our government to form partnerships with grassroots projects and community leaders who are creating change. Together, we can build an Ontario that gives everybody an equal chance to succeed,” Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community, and Social Services, said.

The Youth Opportunities Fund provides funding through three granting streams, such as youth innovations which provide those facing multiple barriers with the resources they need to design and deliver new solutions to issues that matter to them and their communities.

There will also be family innovations that invest in local, community-driven groups delivering culturally relevant projects that empower and support parents, guardians, and caregivers who face barriers and challenges to child and family wellbeing.

There will also be system innovations that support organizations that are “strengthening the quality” and responsiveness of systems, so that they may work better for young people facing multiple barriers.

Applications for the 2021 Youth Opportunities Fund grants will open in Fall 2020.