December 10, 2019

Fall 2019 Grants

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Fall 2019 grants from Catherine Donnelly Foundation supports 15 organizations offering innovative solutions to critical problems.

During the past two years, the Halifax Refugee Clinic has witnessed a two hundred percent increase in clients – especially refugee children, youth and their families – needing shelter in a city plagued by a rental crisis and a lack of affordable housing.

The Clinic’s unique solution to the problem is to develop The Community Action on Eliminating Housing Barriers project, which seeks to secure permanent housing solutions through education, community collaboration and direct, needs-based and client-centred support.

“Through this initiative, we can ensure that no one who comes through our doors, fleeing persecution and seeking protection in Canada, is forced into homelessness or separated from family members,” says Clinic Executive Director Julie Chamagne. “We recognize that trauma, displacement and precarity are all already part of the refugee experience and access to safe and affordable housing is a basic human right.”

The Halifax Refugee Clinic is one of 15 organizations who together received nearly $500,000 to address critical issues through innovative approaches during Catherine Donnelly Foundation’s latest round of grants in the areas of adult education, housing and the environment.

The Foundation chose to support the Halifax venture because it addressed immediate need, but also because it promoted networking and coordinated activity to create large-scale social, structural and environmental change – a theme that unifies many of our grants.

Grants also recognize Canadians in urban and rural areas need support to address common problems that nevertheless demand unique regional solutions. That’s why we renewed funding for the National Alliance to End Rural and Remote Homelessness to extend capacity and create resources to assist individuals and organizations in less populous areas of our country.

We are particularly pleased that six of the projects support Indigenous peoples and communities. CDF is committed to integrating an Indigenous-influenced perspective while moving towards a decolonized approach to our grant making. Among the projects is an initiative to promote Mi’kmaw laws for ecological governance among lawmakers.

Find a complete list of our Fall 2019 grants below.

Adult Education

Exeko (Montreal, PQ) $25,000 • Funding was provided to expand and extend the work of Power Shift, an initiative that develops content and tools for adult education workshops for the socially excluded, including the homeless, elderly, refugees and Indigenous peoples, to claim their rights and engage with society.

Indigenous Family Centre (Winnipeg, MB) • $50,000  Funding will assist Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants to explore personal stories through multi-media art, including digital story creation, during At the Heart of the Matter: Stories of Community and

Hollyhock Leadership Institute (Toronto, ON) $20,000 • Funding supports Run for Office, a political-training program designed to assist marginalized communities traditionally excluded from politics to build effective campaigns and explore the realities of supporting, running, and holding public office. The initiative seeks to deepen the pool of candidates from under-represented communities.

Maple Leaf Theatre for Social Responsibility [Mixed Theatre Company] (Toronto, ON) $25,350 • Ending the Silence promotes dialogue to address gender-based violence and oppression faced by newcomer women and survivors of abuse. Funding will support community partnerships to engage newcomers and refugees through theatre performances and foster learning about healing and intervention methods.

Rwanda Social Services and Family Counselling (Ottawa, ON) $25,000 • Funding will provide community members who survived the Rwandan genocide and other forms of violence a safe space to share their stories and discuss the impact of their lived experience in Canada through Making Change by Remembering our

The 519 (Toronto, ON) $35,000 • Stories from Home challenges conceptions of marginalized residents in Toronto’s gentrifying downtown east neighbourhood through story telling and place making. Funding will support theatre and story-telling workshops and culminate in the creation of plaques installed at places in which the narratives written by participants took place.

Small Change Fund (Toronto, ON) [TTC Riders] $35,000 • Funding for the Neighbourhood Transit Organizers Leadership Program will assist riders from neighbourhoods with poor transit and limited access to employment to develop leadership skills and create and implement local action plans addressing economic and mobility challenges.

Yellowhead Institute [Ryerson University] (Toronto, ON) $26,850 • Yellowhead Indigenous Justice Education builds programming for incarcerated and post-incarcerated Indigenous individuals. Funding will assist learners to understand their rights, build confidence and skills to stay out of prison and connect to a larger Indigenous network.


All-Together Affordable Housing Corporation (Belleville, ON) $22,500 • Funding for the Quinte Community and Housing First Partnership helps provide vulnerable individuals with safe, affordable housing and supports to produce successful tenancies in an inclusive, engaged community. The landlord as well as six community agencies are involved in the collaboration.

Elizabeth Fry Society of Northwestern Ontario (Thunder Bay, ON) $22,980 • In 2018, Elizabeth Fry undertook research to assess the extent to which housing insecurity and homelessness led to involvement with the criminal justice system. Funding for Phase Two of the project involves education, outreach and creating new relationships to address criminal-justice proceedings and reintegration.

Habitat for Humanity Canada (Toronto, ON) $50,000 • Funding for Building Futures – Indigenous Youth Trade Skills Training will help Indigenous youth in remote communities learn construction and leadership skills. Targeted outcomes include imparting the ability to retrofit and repair homes and in doing so, develop youth and their communities.

Halifax Refugee Clinic (Halifax, NS) $35,568 • Community Action on Eliminating Housing Barriers for Refugees will identify resources for refugee claimants and use those supports to build strategies and responses. Funding will support the creation of a Housing Solutions Network to improve access to housing and prevent eviction and housing stress.

National Alliance to End Rural and Remote Homelessness (Calgary, AB) $35,000 • Funding supports the creation of a web site and materials to help individuals and organizations access resources relevant to rural and remote housing and homelessness. NAERRH will also partner with communities to offer regional summits in Canada’s East, West and North.


Polaris Institute [Green New Deal] (Ottawa, ON) $70,000* • Funding for The Leap will assist in developing materials and promoting policy work and public events to publicize elements of the Green New Deal, including food, transit, health and housing initiatives. The work will also support progressive allies in Parliament to advance Green New Deal initiatives.

East Coast Environmental Law (Halifax, NS) $10,000 • Funding will gather participants to increase awareness of Mi’kmaw laws for ecological governance and identify opportunities for collaborative efforts to encourage their implementation in Nova Scotia.*Funding for The Leap was supported by both the housing and environment funding streams of CDF

The Catherine Donnelly Foundation will accept funding applications in the Adult Education and Housing streams in February 2020. For granting guidelines please visit We are committed to reducing barriers to grant applications and willingly work with organizations to accept proposals if issues arise.