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Touchstone receiving provincial grant

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 2:42 PDT, Thu May 19, 2022

Touchstone Family Association’s StreetSmarts Mentorship Project is among 121 initiatives in B.C. receiving funding through the province’s Civil Forfeiture Crime Prevention and Remediation Grant Program.

The StreetSmarts Mentorship Project targets at‐risk youth who may be vulnerable to re‐offending after participating in a restorative justice process.

"We are building safer communities by redirecting the profits of crime into projects that prevent gender-based and domestic violence, and connect victims with the services they need," said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. "The organizations receiving Civil Forfeiture Crime Prevention and Remediation Grants are essential partners in our government's work to combat crime. I thank them for helping to create a stronger, more resilient province."

The grants have been awarded among six streams:

• Gender-based violence

• Domestic violence prevention and intervention programming

• Indigenous healing

• Human trafficking, sexual exploitation, sex worker safety

• Restorative justice

• Child and youth advocacy centres

Touchstone’s $40,000 grant falls into the restorative justice stream. In all, the province is committing $4.3 million to this grant program.

In addition, the grants will fund police training and equipment, as well as a BC Lions Football Club mentorship program that discourages gang involvement and promotes mental health.

This year, 54 projects tackling gender-based violence and preventing domestic violence are receiving approximately $1.8 million. The grants fund initiatives that include expanding outreach to Indigenous victims, support for healing circles, training to provide culturally competent and trauma-informed services, and counselling for men to avoid abusive behaviour.

Additional projects focused on crime prevention will also be provided funding in the coming months.

The Civil Forfeiture Office continues to undermine the profit motive behind criminal activity by taking away tools and proceeds of crime, and putting them back into programs that support community safety and crime prevention.

This year's grants align with the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General and the Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity's development of an action plan to end gender-based violence. This includes Budget 2022's $22 million in stable funding for sexual assault centres. As well, the province has invested $5.34 million in the Path Forward Community Fund to expand safety planning capacity and protect Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQ+ people.

Since 2017-18, the Civil Forfeiture Crime Prevention and Remediation Grant program has provided more than $43 million to help organizations throughout B.C.

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