Kindred Credit Union is pleased to announce the Kindred Charitable Fund 2021 grant recipients. After reviewing 41 applications, the committee selected 16 organizations that will receive a total of $81,000 in funding in 2021. Each selected organization actively inspires peaceful, just, and prosperous communities.
The Kindred Charitable Fund has distributed $1.3 million in support of churches and charitable organizations since its inception in 1999. Including the 2021 recipients, a total of 163 groups have benefited from these grants, which have impacted people and communities across Ontario.
The full list of recipients is noted below.
Project – Brighter Futures Initiative (BFI)
Adventure4Change addresses issues related to poverty and inequity for children, youth, and families in Waterloo Region. Using an asset-based approach to development, their efforts are directed by local leaders and community volunteers. The Brighter Futures Initiative (BFI) supports a number of sub-projects, working with BIPOC youth who live within the restraints of generational poverty, racial injustice, and cultural disconnects. The grant will boost the Young Queens Collective, which gathers young women of colour to build community and to foster educational and vocational pathways. The Black Mentor Network facilitates relationships between Black men and youth, using mentorship to model positive relationships with family and friends, and creating a space for engagement with school and community.
Cambridge Shelter Corporation
Project – Housing Assistance Fund
Cambridge Shelter Corporation provides safe shelter to people in need, offering programs and services to support the hopes and needs of people dealing with major life issues. They celebrate with their clients when permanent residences are found, however, these individuals often have subsequent challenges accessing furniture and household items for their new home. The grant will support the Housing Assistance Fund, which helps to create new home ‘kits’ that include pots, dishes, and cutlery, a toaster, cleaning supplies, sheets, towels, and other sundry household items. This program offers great benefits to the community, improving clients’ health and well-being through affordable, permanent housing, and resulting in decreased use of emergency health services and social isolation.
Community Justice Initiatives of Waterloo Region
Project – EMS Homeshare
Community Justice Initiatives (CJI) promotes restorative justice, a framework that addresses harm, conflict, and relationship building by engaging the person who has caused harm, those who have experienced harm, and the broader community. This grant will be used to provide staffing support for CJI’s homesharing program, which promotes the simple idea that two or more people can share a home for mutual benefit. The EMS Homeshare program advances affordable housing in Waterloo Region, connecting older adults who live independently—yet are vulnerable to isolation—with individuals or families who are not otherwise able to find affordable housing in the rental market.
Crow Shield Lodge
Project – Strengthening Community Through Land-based Healing
Crow Shield Lodge walks alongside those who are in need of healing, offering connection and belonging through Indigenous land-based learning. Their vision for the future is that of a thriving community that is founded on unity, equality, and understanding as we walk forward together in healing and reconciliation. The Kindred Charitable Fund grant will be used to purchase a previously owned ATV and trailer to transport materials from the farmhouse to the land designated for programming use. This project is open to all people, regardless of ethnicity, who are on a healing journey and are searching for connection. The broader community will benefit through improved interpersonal relationships that allow people to flourish and thrive and to contribute to society in a positive way.
Project – The New Hope Initiative
The Elora House provides a safe-haven in the Guelph and Wellington County area for individuals identifying as women (ages 16 and up) who have been exploited by sex trafficking. Offering immediate, short-term lodging, food, and clothing, the organization connects these women with community partners for all areas of counselling and support. The New Hope Initiative helps each resident from the time they enter the house through their recovery, providing them with essentials such as immediate shelter, food, clothing, and any additional support.
House of Friendship
Project – A Welcoming and Safe Space for Courtland Shelley Community Food Programs
House of Friendship supports residents of Waterloo Region who are in need of food, housing, community resources, or addiction treatment. This project aims to improve usage of House of Friendship’s food programs, reduce stigma, and increase community support by creating an inviting and accessible communal outdoor space. Funds will be used to purchase patio furniture and tables where staff and program participants can safely gather, share food, and build community.
Matthew House Ottawa
Project – Ensuring Justice for Refugee Claimants
Matthew House Ottawa is a volunteer-based, Christian organization that supports and assists non-sponsored refugee claimants, the most vulnerable population of refugee arrivals in Canada. Matthew House Ottawa provides shelter, food, and settlement assistance while newcomers work to build a secure future in Canada. The grant will help to pay for rent and utilities in a residence offered to those in need, where refugee claimants receive basic necessities including housing, food, transportation, and hygiene products.
Compass Refugee Centre (formerly Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support)
Project – Protecting Spaces of Refuge
Compass Refugee Centre works to assist, accompany, and advocate for refugee claimants in our community so that every person seeking refuge in Canada has unhindered access to justice and an opportunity to thrive in welcoming communities. COVID-19 and the resulting restrictions have prolonged already lengthy waits for hearings, just outcomes, and family reunification. Once completing their quarantine, new claimants need a place to go. Compass Refugee Centre’s Guest House offers a place of refuge, community, and opportunity that many people cannot otherwise access due to their lack of status. Having a safe and caring place to navigate their first weeks in our community, and to meet others in the same situation, brings stability and safety as these people prepare for the next stage of their journey.
Mission Services of London
Project – Prevention of Homelessness Among Families (PHAF)
Mission Services of London provides safe shelter, nutritious food, clothing, outreach, counselling, and support services to individuals and families in London who experience and struggle with poverty and homelessness, as well as adults with addiction and mental illness. Avoiding a stay in an emergency shelter is the best option for families, which is why the PHAF program works from the perspective of prevention first. The Kindred Charitable Fund grant will support operational costs for the PHAF program.
Project – Waterloo Region Launch
Shelter Movers is a national, volunteer-powered charitable organization that provides moving and storage services at no cost to women and children fleeing abuse. In collaboration with local businesses and community agencies, they support families transitioning to a life free of violence. Shelter Movers is building on the success of their regional model by launching a chapter in Waterloo Region where there is significant need to support people leaving violence. This grant will support operational costs including vehicle rental, security, storage, packing materials, and staff wages.
Social Development Centre Waterloo Region
Project – Engaging Low-Income Residents in Climate Action
The Social Development Centre Waterloo Region is a learning organization that supports all voices in the creation of community-wide solutions, ensuring that lived experience is the basis for collective action. This grant will support Waterloo Region residents who typically would not engage in climate change mitigation to participate in a personal 30-day change experiment, while at the same time contributing to a global research project. This project will create and share powerful stories around climate change and sustainability, open the solutions space and activate people to create personal change, while promoting collective transformations to sustainability.
The Bridge Leamington Youth Resource Centre
Project – Rebranding 102
The Bridge reduces housing instability for youth in the Leamington area. The organization’s vision is to have every young person feel valued, respected, supported, and given the ability to reach their potential. Their next objective is to build independent, mixed-rental housing, including affordable units. The grant will support the development of public relations and social media strategy for this project, create marketing messages, develop print and social media materials, as well as video production.
The Church of St. John the Evangelist
Project – Kindred ABTC Kitchen Management Initiative
St. John’s strives to be a vibrant presence in downtown Kitchener where diverse people are welcomed into a loving community. The church responds to human need through service. The Kindred Charitable Fund grant will facilitate this project, where St. John’s community kitchen coordinators will work with residents of A Better Tent City (ABTC), offering opportunities to develop skills and increasing collective self-reliance by training and supporting kitchen management.
Church Out Serving (The Gathering Food Centre)
Project – Emergency Food Program
Church Out Serving is a community-focused, faith-based, volunteer-run charity that looks to “love thy neighbour.” They run numerous programs for residents in need, particularly in the area of food insecurity. For example, Church Out Serving prepares and delivers healthy, local foods to residents in Norfolk County. The grant will help to pay for infrastructure upgrades in their food assembly space, boosting efficiency and helping the organization meet the increasing demand in evidence since to onset of the pandemic.
Theatre of the Beat
Project – Digital Tour of Unmute
Theatre of the Beat is a Canadian theatre company working to catalyze conversations on social justice and its intersection with beliefs held within the communities they serve. The original interactive forum theatre play, Unmute, will be used as an educational and training tool to help community members respond to increased risk of family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds will help cover the cost of digitally presenting Unmute to nine Ontario churches and communities, with a goal to present the shows at no cost.