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Why Not City Missions Receives Provincial Grant Funding


Milan Novakovic, Will Bouma’s Executive Assistant, Karen Stewart, Executive director for Why Not City Missions, Lisa Parsons, Will Bouma’s Constituency Assistant, Alexandra Novakovic and Charlie Kopczyk, founder and pastor for Why Not City Missions pose for a photo during the Why Not City’s Missions golf tournament on Tuesday, June 18, 2024.

Nearly 100 golfers hit the links for Why Not City Missions’ annual golf tournament fundraiser at the Walter Gretzky Municipal Golf Course on Tuesday, June 18, 2024.


After a long day of playing the 18-hole tournament, participants headed inside the clubhouse for a special announcement.


“I am very pleased here to announce tonight that the Ontario government, through the Ontario Trillium Foundation has approved a $150,000 grant to Why Not City Missions,” said Milan Novakovic, executive assistant for MPP Will Bouma, speaking on Bouma’s behalf.

Milan Novakovic, executive assistant for MPP Will Bouma, announced the $150,000 Resilient Communities Fund from the Ontario Trillium Foundation during Why Not City’s Missions golf tournament on Tuesday, June 18, 2024.

The OTF’s Resilient Communities Fund grant is designed to support community-based organizations that deliver programs and services in Ontario that need funding to recover and build capacity, resilience and sustainability.


“This $150,000 over two years from the province is going to go toward recognizing our staff for what they are, retaining them, supporting them, giving them mental health and other supports that they need, and giving them a much-deserved cost of living increase to make sure that our wages are competitive,” said Mike Bosveld, Board Chair of Why Not City Missions. “We’re just really excited for what continues to happen at Why Not and things are not slowing down, they’re just getting stronger.”


Mike Bosveld, Board Chair of Why Not City Missions speaks about retaining and supporting staff with the $150,000 Resilient Communities Fund from the Ontario Trillium Foundation during Why Not City’s Missions golf tournament on Tuesday, June 18, 2024.

Karen Stewart, Executive Director for Why Not City Missions, said that she was thrilled they were chosen to receive the grant.


“I can’t even begin to explain how thrilled I am. The work we do is hard and our staff put in a lot of work day in and day out so I really wanted to be able to give them that cost of living increase to ease a little bit of financial stress and to make sure that I have a budget for training,” she said. “All those pieces are built into this and I was just so thrilled to hear we got it and because it’s a two year grant, it gives me a little more time to build that sustainability and to grow and develop new plans for funding for the future.”


She said with how Why Not City Missions has grown, they’ve had to double their staff over the past two years and that retaining them is important to their youth.


“Staff retention in social services is hard because we all tend to underpay and a lot of the time it’s part time or contract work and so this grant will really help us build full time positions out of this,” she said. “The youth have so many losses in their life that we just are adding to that when we lose a staff member because they get to know them and build relationships with them and so it’s critical for these kids and their well-being to be able to retain our staff.”

Golfers listen in as Mike Bosveld, Board Chair of Why Not City Missions speaks about retaining and supporting staff with the $150,000 Resilient Communities Fund from the Ontario Trillium Foundation during Why Not City’s Missions golf tournament on Tuesday, June 18, 2024.

Stewart said she hopes that the Resilient Communities Fund continues for years to come as it has the potential to make a large impact for privately-funded charities of all kinds.


“There are so few grants available that are staffing specific and the fact that they made this available was just so appreciated and it’s going to make a huge impact,” she said. “ I imagine there’s just so many charities that are all in that same boat where it’s easy to sell a program, but it’s not so easy to say, ‘I need to give my staff wages like a cost-of-living increase, right? It’s just amazing and we’re really grateful.”


This article was originally posted on BrantBeacon.ca

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