2020-21 Funded Projects

The United Way Yukon board March 11, 2020, approved funding totalling $100,000 to support 16 community-based projects. The Community Investment and Review Committee carefully reviewed all applications received (22 total) to ensure that funds would be used effectively and in support of our three priorities: All That Kids Can Be, From Poverty to Possibility and Healthy People Strong Communities. We will report back throughout the year via our Facebook page on how the projects are going, especially with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community Mentoring Project -- Dawson City and Whitehorse

Big Brothers Big Sisters

One-to-one and group mentoring programs are offered in Whitehorse, with support provided to partners setting up mentoring programs in other Yukon communities. BBBS recruits, screens and trains all volunteer mentors and provides professional support to “big/little” matches as they navigate their mentoring journey. Youth who receive mentoring, compared to those who did not, are less likely to experience behavioural problems and less likely to experience symptoms of depression and social anxiety. The project includes monitoring of existing matches, training new mentors, recruiting clients and volunteers, and providing safety training.

After Hours Emergency Support Line

Blood Ties Four Directions Centre

This project supports vulnerable clients by helping them deal with issues such as: noise complaints, landlord/tenant disputes, emergency flooding/fire, medical emergency advocacy and mental health issues that occur after hours. The support line will operate after hours on Fridays and weekends, when demand is highest. It will primarily support approx. 20 clients of Blood Ties Four Directions and the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society Yukon. It will benefit landlords by helping to de-escalate situations, build relationships and resolve conflicts. The community at large benefits as well because this program helps provide safer, better-supported affordable housing options to vulnerable people.

Health Equipment Loan Program

Canadian Red Cross

This project will allow for the purchase of $1,000 of much-needed medical equipment for the Whitehorse-based Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP). Volunteer-run HELP provides essential mobility, bath and toileting equipment to people recovering in their homes from illness, injury or joint replacement surgery. This service is free, but donations are welcome. In 2019, HELP loaned almost 700 articles of mobility, bath, bedroom and toileting safety equipment to 398 Yukoners, a 36 per cent service increase in just the last two years. While 87 per cent of HELP clients lived in Whitehorse, people from smaller towns such as Burwash Landing, Carcross, Haines Junction, Tagish and Teslin also borrowed equipment.

Challenge Disability Resource Group

This litter removal project provides employment opportunities to adults with disabilities or barriers to employment. It provides participants with employment skills, healthy social interactions, and consistent income. The clean-up crew will remove litter from sidewalks and trails in downtown Whitehorse, helping to keep the city looking clean and beautiful – to the benefit of residents and visitors. In order to achieve these goals, a job coach will be on-site with the participants in order to provide the employment support they need. It will create seasonal employment in summer 2020 for one full-time job coach and up to six 6 part-time participants.

Child Development Centre

Support to early childhood development and mental wellness is critical to building healthy families and communities. This project will provide a minimum of four training sessions that provide families with information, support, resources, skills and activities that they can utilize to support their child in their individual goals. These sessions will include a meal as well as transportation and childcare costs for any family who may not be able to afford these or have access to these items. Training sessions consist of two to five evenings, depending on the program being offered. Up to 48 parents/caregivers, along with their children, will participate.

Ladies Night

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society Yukon

Ladies' Night is hosted by the Out and About program with the support of Yukon Girl Guides (1st Porter Creek Pathfinders). The monthly event creates a safe, welcoming space for women of all abilities and backgrounds, where they can try new things and build healthy relationships with other women. Research and experience have shown that individuals who are at a considerably younger chronological age than their biological age enjoy interactions and form great connections with youth and children. Ladies’ Night also provides the youth participants with positive leadership and organization opportunities. Monthly activities will include craft projects, game nights, glass blowing, outings outdoors and more.

Socially Inclusive Lunch Program

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society Yukon

The socially inclusive supported lunch program helps people using FASSY’s services. Meals are provided Mondays through Fridays at the YG cafeteria – sometimes the only meal they have that day. Persons with a neurodevelopmental disabilities (FASD) can experience social inclusion by being part of an eating establishment which can also be accessed by of other members of society. FASSY provides a direct support during the “lunch hour rush” from 11:30 – 1:00 pm to help ease the flow and mitigate any problems that may come up. About 90 people are helped through this program.

Freedom Trails Therapeutic Riding Association

Our horseback riding program provides participants (people with a disability) with opportunities to experience the sense of achievement, pride and confidence, and to build self-esteem. The environment helps to increase motivation, concentration and to improve learning skills. Individual programs are designed by physiotherapists and teachers. In addition to 40 summer participants, helped by 30 volunteers, visits are also arranged for residents from local senior care homes. The relationships formed between human and animal is known to positively influence the psychological and physiological state of each other.

Food for Life

Help and Hope for Families Watson Lake

This Help and Hope for Families program provides nutritional food for working poor and single parent families. Through workshops and outreach, they provide guidance on budgeting skills, information on nutritional food, meal preparation and planning along with support of shopping. They also supply financial support for people in need through additional purchasing of food staples and supplies. Watson Lake has 20 to 30 families and individuals in dire need of food options.

Yukon Reads – Reach Every Reader

Imagination Library

The Reach Every Reader project will aim to bring more early literacy opportunities to kids from birth to age 5 in every Yukon community, building on the 66 per cent of eligible children who currently receive a book a month through the Imagination Library service (1,450 books per month!). This project will focus on those in remote communities, those with disengaged parents, and/or those who may be struggling with other issues – kids that could benefit the most from reading more. Work includes setting up a network of “community champions,” expanded advertising/promotion, and hosting family literacy events in two Yukon communities that have a low uptake on the program.

Camp Raven

Learning Disabilities Association Yukon

LDAY camps give children and youth with learning difficulties (a diganosed LD is not required) the opportunity to improve their social skills, build their self-esteem, and make new friends while having fun in the outdoors, playing games, learning new skills and expressing their creativity. This supportive environment is achieved by a carefully planned schedule of activities that provide age appropriate challenge, facilitated and supervised by a group of skilled counselors.  Camps will be held in summer and winter, in and around Whitehorse and Dawson City, with up to 72 children participating.

Food Rescue in Whitehorse

Raven Recycling

Across Canada, 11.2 million tonnes of unsold, excess food – most of it fit for human consumption -- goes into the landfill each year. Whitehorse is no exception. Raven Recycling will research the feasibility of a project that rescues this food and distributes it to community members in a dignified and compassionate way. With a well-researched and community-based approach we hope this project can benefit those facing food insecurity (especially regarding fresh, perishable food) by overcoming barriers that we identify. We also hope that the project can create a greater sense of community with members who want to do something about avoidable food waste in Whitehorse.

Medical First Responders Program

St. John Ambulance Society

Trained Medical First Responder (MFR) volunteers attend community events to ensure everyone’s safety and provide emergency response services. Although first aid services are mandatory at these types of events, many can’t afford them and rely on our trained volunteers. The MFR program also improves healthcare, safety, and learning among community members. It provides residents with opportunities to volunteer and be more engaged with their communities through first aid and safety, which can lead to an enhanced quality of life.

Parent-Child Mother Goose

Victoria Faulkner Women's Centre

Parents/caregivers and their babies and young children (up to 5 years old) learn the power and pleasure of rhymes, songs and stories as a positive parenting tool and way to bond with their child. The goals of the program are many, including strengthening parent-child attachment, building a supportive group where isolated parents can feel comfortable, and creating opportunities for different generations to interact. We expect this year’s program will directly benefit 250 parents and babies (five series, each with 25 adults and 25 children).

Mothering Your Baby

Victoria Faulkner Women's Centre

This group is a great way to meet other moms and discuss the ups and downs of new parenthood. Women are supported through their transformation to new parenthood, connecting with community resources and learning self-care practices. This leads to healthier life choices as well as improves emotional well being and decreases isolation and loneliness. Directly, 42 mothers and their babies will benefit from this project; indirectly, other family members will benefit.

October 2020 Poverty Action

Yukon Learn / Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition

This program will support graduates of the Voices Influencing Change program to develop and implement actions during Poverty and Homelessness Action Week (PHAW) to be held Oct. 13-20, 2020. Funding will also support a “Whitehorse Connects” event during PHAW. Yukon Learn is working with the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition to offer this program. Usually over 200 people attend a Connects event. PHAW events increase awareness about poverty and homelessness in our communities.  By bringing together people from all different backgrounds, we are able to break down the stigma and judgments related to poverty, homelessness and other forms of social exclusion.

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