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We need to support front-line charities in Budget 2021

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, National Association of Friendship Centres, United Way Centraide Canada, YMCA Canada and YWCA Canada have come together to call on the federal government to establish a Community Services COVID-19 Relief Fund. Please join us by using the action tool on the right to send a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau, Deputy Prime Minister Freeland and Minister Hussen, and your local member of parliament calling on the Federal Government to support charities and nonprofits in Budget 2021.

Please check out the briefing notes in English and French.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada’s front-line human and community services organizations have mobilized to serve community members at a time of widening inequalities. We have helped mitigate the worst public health outcomes, to level some effects of long-standing social inequities, and strengthen community capacity and an ethic of care for our most vulnerable.

More than eight million residents of Canada rely on our organizations every year. And when times are especially tough, like now, even more, turn to us. We are a large employer and a women-majority sector (over 70% of workers are women) and create work opportunities for millions of individuals beyond those we employ directly.

We are Canada’s essential network of community services, helping those living in vulnerable situations, but right now we are struggling.

Federal pandemic relief programs enabled us to provide emergency child care, food programs, virtual services, shelters for people experiencing homelessness and women fleeing domestic violence, and more. But despite these measures, we continue to be negatively affected by rising costs, surging demand, and diminishing revenues.

Human service charities are proud members of our shared economy. We have supported vulnerable community members for centuries and done so while balancing our books. Today, we need a bridge back to sustainability as we modernize for our new normal.

We are calling on the federal government to create a Community Services COVID-19 Relief Fund in Budget 2021. Its goal is to provide temporary 18-month bridge funding to support the ongoing work of organizations providing front-line human and community services during the pandemic, including independent community organizations led by, serving and focused on communities in vulnerable circumstances, such as Black, Indigenous and people of colour led organizations and women’s organizations.

We need to sustain vital community programs and services while protecting important community facilities for future generations