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10 Canadian community-based organizations receive $194,000 from The‍ Co-operators

Mar 5, 2014

GUELPH, ON, March 5, 2014 /CNW/ - Ten organizations across Canada have received funding to support and strengthen the vital services they provide to their communities. The Co-operators announced grants totalling $194,057 to 10 organizations that provide training and employment opportunities to help local residents overcome barriers to employment and become more self-reliant.

The funding provided through The Co-operators Foundation Community Economic Development (CED) Funds, will go to support the following organizations:

Eco Equitable Inc., Ottawa ($20,000)
EcoEquitable is a charitable social enterprise that provides the sewing skills and experience needed for immigrant and underemployed women to join the Canadian workforce, while at the same reducing textile waste destined for landfills. The grant of $20,000 will support graduates of the "Sowing for Jobs" program with mentoring and co-op placements.

Community Opportunity and Innovation Network Inc. - Peterborough, Ont. ($14,750)
Community Opportunity and Innovation Network Inc. (COIN) is a family of social enterprises that support and train people who face barriers to employment. The grant of $14,750 will be used to increase the number of eligible participants beyond those on government assistance, to develop six training modules, and to expand its services to businesses in the community.

Fred Victor - Toronto ($20,000)
Fred Victor fosters long-lasting and positive change in the lives of homeless and low-income people living in Toronto. It operates Friends Catering, a social enterprise that assists people who are experiencing significant, life-limiting barriers to employment such as mental instability and addiction, by providing six-months of training and work experience in food services. A grant of $20,000 will allow Friends Catering to increase its sales and to train 12 people in 2014.

Scadding Court Community Centre - Toronto ($19,307)
Scadding Court Community Centre (SCCC) is a community-based organization with programs and services geared toward under-serviced, culturally diverse groups. SCCC seeks to offer an intensive one-year program to ten at-risk youth living at Atkinson Housing Co-operative. The youth will be hired part-time, either at the centre or with other community partners, and will receive a range of supports. A grant of $19,307 will allow SCCC to hire one of these young people at the centre.

Working for Change - Toronto ($20,000)
The mandate of Working for Change is to provide employment and training opportunities to people who have been marginalized by mental health and addiction issues, poverty, homelessness, violence and newcomer/immigration challenges. It operates four social enterprises and recently opened a café. The $20,000 grant will be put toward the salary of a Lead Hand of the project as well as to the training budget. 

Reaching our Outdoor Friends (ROOF) - Kitchener, Ont. ($20,000)
Reaching our Outdoor Friends (ROOF) is committed to providing for the safety and well-being of homeless or at-risk youth, aged 12 to 25, in the Waterloo Region. It provides them with job skills and employment opportunities through two social enterprise programs: the Lunchbox, which provides catering; and Street Designs, which designs and heat-presses t-shirts. A grant of $20,000 will support the programs' administration costs.

Regina Work Preparation Centre - Regina ($20,000)
Regina Work Preparation Centre provides employment services and training to communities that are under-represented in the workforce. A $20,000 grant will support a new training program that targets the hospitality sector. This program will provide 20 participants with various certificates suitable to the industry, as well as group-based employment skills, and facilitated connections to employers.

Momentum Community Economic Development Society - Calgary ($20,000)
Momentum is an award-winning Community Economic Development organization formed in 1991 to provide programs to Calgarians living on low incomes. Given that many new businesses struggle to achieve stability, especially in the first year, Momentum will use its $20,000 grant to strengthen the delivery of "post-launch" supports for the entrepreneurs who participate in its Business Development programs.

Supporting Employment and Economic Development (SEED) Winnipeg Inc - Winnipeg ($20,000)
SEED's mission is "to reduce poverty and assist in the renewal of primarily inner city communities by providing capacity building services that help low-income individuals, groups, organizations and economically distressed neighbourhoods improve their social and economic vitality". This year's funding of $20,000 supports the Business Development Services program, which aims to increase the number of businesses launched or sustained, to continue to contribute to job creation and retention, and to market and increase services to at-risk groups in Winnipeg.

Common Thread Cooperative - Vancouver ($20,000)
Common Thread is a non-profit co-op of organizations that offers sewing programs and employment opportunities for disadvantaged people living in Vancouver. This year's funding of $20,000 will support a project called "Stretching Our Fabric: New Products and New Skills", through which the co-op will provide training and expand its product line.

"These 10 organizations provide vital services that help make their communities stronger," said Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO of The Co-operators. "Their programs help residents find meaningful work and in turn their communities benefit socially, economically and environmentally."

The CED Funds were developed in 1995 to commemorate The Co-operators 50th anniversary, and through it, The Co-operators has granted $4.3 million to 105 organizations. The CED Funds are part of The Co-operators Foundation, which supports community-based organizations and other worthy causes throughout Canada. For more information on the Fund and its recipients, please visit:

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $34 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt; Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada; and the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada by Sustainalytics and Maclean's magazine. For more information visit

SOURCE The Co-operators

For further information:

Leonard Sharman
The Co-operators

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