Airdrie City council unanimously approved funding for a number of community programs and organizations through the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) for 2018 at its regular meeting Oct. 2.
FCSS funding totaling $1,515,000 will be awarded to preventative social programs such as the Community Kitchen Program at the Airdrie Food Bank and the Volunteer Program at the Airdrie and District Victim’s Assistance Society.
Each year, the Government of Alberta allocates funding to municipalities to use towards prevention-focused programs. The funding is distributed in an 80/20 partnership, with the City providing 20 per cent of the funds granted to the eligible organizations.
“Funding from the Province has stabilized so we do not anticipate more funding injections in the future, certainly not for 2018,” said Clay Aragon, City of Airdrie team leader of Community Development and Social Planning.
Since 2015, FCSS funding for programs in Airdrie has increased from $762,548 to $1,515,000. In 2016, the province gave the City an additional $391,578 in funding, the first such adjustment to FCSS funding in six years, according to Aragon.
A total of 22 organizations requested a total of $2,025,454 in funding for programs in 2018. The requests were first reviewed by City staff and then scrutinized by the Community Services Advisory Board (CSAB), which recommends which should get funding and which should not, based on criteria set out by the government. Council approval for the recommendation from the CSAB is then required.
A new program receiving funding in 2018 is the Boys and Girls Club of Airdrie (BGCA) Youth in Transition program.
“Youth in Transition is a youth life skill building initiative that will provide youth with (the) knowledge, skills, tools and necessary resources to successfully transition to adulthood,” said BGCA Executive Director Denisa Sanness. “This program will focus on topics such as financial literacy, community involvement, life management and living independently, and academic support.”
“I think it’s really important to understand that for most of our agencies, FCSS is not the sole funder of a lot of their programming,” Aragon said. “Certainly, administration and the City appreciate the challenges that a lot of agencies are going through in terms of raising funds, in terms of getting funding from other levels of government for other programming.”