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Kelowna organizations benefit from Civil Forfeiture Grants

MLA Norm Letnick, left, and MLA Steve Thomson, right, present a grant worth nearly $50,000 to, left to right, Cst. Virginie Achtymichuk with the Kelowna RCMP Child Abuse Unit, Leith Abrahamse, the Westbank First Nation Clinical Care Coordinator and Michelle Novakowski the Executive Director, Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society, Friday, March 20, 2015.
Image Credit: Contributed
March 21, 2015 - 11:01 AM

KELOWNA - This year, the priority focus for civil forfeiture proceeds is on initiatives that address violence against women and support the Violence Free BC strategy. Other areas where funding was made available included serving victims through restorative justice, community and youth crime prevention, and police education, training and specialized crime prevention equipment.

“The Elizabeth Fry Society does a great job empowering women and children to achieve dignity, security, & equality,” says Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson. “These grants will help the society reach out to exploited and abused youth, identify needs, and create programs to help them heal.”

“Since the civil forfeiture program became active, it has returned more than $16 million from successful forfeiture actions to crime prevention grants and victim compensation payments in B.C.,” says Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick. “This funding gives back in ways that make our communities and families stronger.”

“A number of these grants support Violence Free BC, our long-term strategy to end domestic violence,” says Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna. “These projects will challenge beliefs and behaviours around violence, reach women who have experienced it, and give them the support they need to rebuild their lives.”

Violence Free BC is the provincial government’s long term strategy and commitment to end violence against women. Acting as a roadmap, Violence Free BC combines immediate actions with a long-term vision to end the violence, and to support women whose lives and well-being have been impacted by violence. In future years, a portion of civil forfeiture funds will be dedicated to support the Violence Free BC strategy.

Seven Kelowna organizations have received more than $155,000 from the province’s civil forfeiture program:

- Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society
     * $30,000 for its Central Okanagan Child Advocacy Centre.
     * $19,825 for its Ending Sexual Exploitation of Young Women program.

- Metis Community Services Society of B.C.
     *$20,000 for its Releasing Integrating Soaring Equality (RISE) Healing Group.
     *$20,000 for its Aboriginal Fathers Program – Regenerating Aboriginal Identity and Healing workshops.

- Okanagan Boys and Girls Club
     * $20,000 for its New Horizons for Youth project, which aims to prevent involvement of at-risk youth in criminal activity.

- Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society
     * $19,377 for its Standing Strong project, which offers holistic healing services to the urban Aboriginal population in the Central Okanagan.

- Okanagan Metis and Aboriginal Housing Society
* $15,800 for its Sen'kllp Den (Coyote Den), a project designed to provide a safe and structured environment for at risk aboriginal youth.

- School District #23
     * $6,700 to help reduce youth sexual victimization online.

- Kelowna Family Services Centre Society
     * $3,990 for its Moving On: Women’s Self-Help Aftercare Group.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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