Family violence and at-risk youth targets of government grants

Civil forfeiture funding to be used for two local programs

Two local community organizations are receiving provincial grants from civil forfeiture proceeds which will be used to combat family violence and help fund an outreach program aimed at high-risk youth, Abbotsford West MLA Michael de Jong has announced.

The Abbotsford Community Services Youth Resource Centre has been awarded a $23,000 grant, and the W.I.N.G.S. Fellowship Ministries is receiving $14,075. These two grants are part of nearly $1 million going to 81 projects across B.C. funded as part of the province’s civil forfeiture program.

B.C.’s Civil Forfeiture Office files civil court actions against property alleged to be a tool used to further unlawful activity or a proceed of it.

WINGS Fellowship will use its funding to expand a current pilot project called Men’s Work that provides cognitive behavioural therapy batterer intervention groups for men.

The Stop Exploiting Youth (SEY) program at the Abbotsford Community Services provides client-centered, long-term outreach services to youth that are either sexually exploited or are at high risk of sexual exploitation.

This round of grants includes a new funding stream focused on projects to combat bullying. In all, 16 school-led anti-bullying efforts are sharing about $200,000 of the $1 million in grants.

The projects receiving funding this year are related to combating bullying, youth crime, violence against women and family violence, human trafficking and sexual exploitation, and community crime, as well as police training and equipment.

In November 2012, the B.C. government announced that up to $1 million would be available from civil forfeiture proceeds for projects geared to building community safety, and invited applications from schools, community groups, and policing agencies.

Active since 2006, B.C.’s civil forfeiture program has put more than $9 million in proceeds back into communities, to crime prevention programs and to victims of fraud and phony investment schemes.

B.C.’s civil forfeiture program is the second-oldest among eight provincial programs that are now active across Canada.