Anti-sexual exploitation grant program facing changes in Kelowna

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KELOWNA - Kelowna is looking at rolling in its grants for organizations working to end the sexual exploitation of youth into its community social social development program.

Kelowna city council created the grants to address sexual exploitation of youth in 1998 and currently gives out $22,000 a year through the Central Okanagan Foundation. It also gives out $80,000 a year in grants for social development programs.

Staff are recommending the two programs be merged to streamline the annual application and vetting process for grant applicants.

Funding for the community social development program would expand from $80,000 a year to $102,000, offsetting the additional costs, a report to council says.

However, organizations that apply for anti-sexual exploitation grants would be subject to the more stringent and less generous rules of the larger program.

Instead of covering 100 per cent of a program’s budget under the old grant program, for example, the new rules will limit that to 25 per cent.

Staff say requests for social development grants have climbed from 17 applications for $109,000 in 2010 to 22 applications totalling $260,000 in 2015.

During the same time period, applications for anti-sexual exploitation grants dropped as did the amount requested, although both programs were fully subscribed.

The report does not name past recipients of the grants.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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