Each year, the City of Kamloops issues a call for proposals for registered charities and non-profit agencies in our community to apply for Social and Community Development Grants, which are intended to fund special projects, operational costs, and/or capital expenditures that address specific current social problems and/or issues related to the City’s Social Plan or the Livability pillar of the Council Strategic Plan.
BGC Kamloops received a $6,757 Social and Community Development Grant in 2021. This is how the grant was used:
Submitted by BGC Kamloops.
Going into the community to reach youths and connect them to the club and its services is not new to BGC Kamloops, but thanks to the City of Kamloops Social Planning Grant, we were able to expand our outreach services to connect with more “new to us” youths in the city.
The demand for our services has greatly increased due to the pandemic, and we know there are many other youths who are not familiar with our services. Our services include:
- learning programs and employment skills help
- youth after-school drop-in recreation
- life skills and wellness programs
- Youth Necessity Nook (a food bank for youths)
- access to Zak’s Room (a safe place for youths to relax and sleep)
- access to harm reduction supplies
In 2021, we were able to expand our outreach services, and it was such a success—we knew we needed to continue to provide these services in the community. BGC Kamloops has offered outreach services in partnership with School District No. 73 by having outreach staff go to Twin Rivers Education Centre/Four Directions Secondary School once a week to connect with youth. Based on feedback from Twin Rivers Education Centre staff, we know that our relationship with the centre has been beneficial to their students which is why we used this grant to offer increase outreach to twice per week. We also know that because of our outreach at Twin Rivers Education Centre/Four Directions Secondary School, youth become connected to the Club and attend Club programs.
One of our priorities has been to reach youths on Kamloops’ South Shore through other alternative education sites in the school district. BGC Kamloops began offering outreach services once per week at Directed Suspension School with help from this grant. Our outreach worker brought snacks, water, hygiene supplies, and more to distribute to students who were in need in addition to talking to the students about the club and our services.
The success of our outreach has been undeniable. From November 2021 to June 2022, our youth outreach worker connected with an average of 86 youths per month. Several “new to us” youths attended club programs as a result of outreach work. While our main goal was to get more youths to attend BCG Kamloops programs, we understand that not every youth will want to come to the club. That does not stop us from providing services to keep youths connected to the club and meeting their needs in the community. Our outreach worker connected with students, and many sought her out weekly for resources and a snack.
It has been noted that many of the youths who began attending BSG Kamloops programs have continued to attend after outreach as part of developing rapport and relationships with the youth at Twin Rivers Education Centre/Four Directions Secondary School and Directed Suspension School.
“As the school year nears an end a lot of the students at TREC/4D and regular students at Directed Suspension School downtown have really come out of their shell. Youth who were too shy to say hi are now having short conversations with me about their day. A lot of youth are more open to hearing about Club as well. Gatorade and chips have been the most effective way to get the youth engaged” – Youth Outreach Worker, May 2022 monthly report.
BGC Kamloops will continue this important outreach work in the schools this fall. By continuing to meet youths where they are, we keep them connected to services they need and, by broader extension, keep them connected to the community.
To learn more about this grant, visit Kamloops.ca/Grants. To view stories on how other groups used their Social and Community Development Grants, visit Kamloops.ca/CityStory.