Bobbi Jacobs of Agassiz Harrison Community Services holds the funding cheque from United Way.

Local groups benefit from United Way funding

Agassiz and Hope services will benefit from grant dollars

United Way announced last Friday that two Fraser Cascade-based projects addressing poverty, homelessness or helping children to be successful in school will be funded this year.

Both Agassiz and Hope will see the benefits of the cash for good cause coming from the organization to local projects.

The grant injection to Agassiz’s Family Parenting Place allows the program to offer services on the weekends, so that families who work have access to early childhood programs.

“It enables us to open on Saturday morning,” said Agassiz Harrison Community Services executive director Bobbi Jacob of the $6,500 received. “Prior to this we were only open Monday to Thursday. So now we’re open five and a half days a week.”

New funding from the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) funding helped them extend into Fridays recently.

Jacob said there were already 11 people using the drop-in service last Saturday, learning about different ways to interact with their children, meeting other parents and giving their children a chance to socialize.

“It extends the opportunities to use Family Place,” she said. “Perhaps some people are only able to come on Saturday morning. During the week it might not be an option for them.”

The largest grant is for the Hope Project, operated by Hope and Area Transition Society (HATS), hosting a hub of services, which will support individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The aim of that project is to lead those in need to secure employment and housing.

And a third regional project is here in Agassiz, assisting with one-time loans and financial counselling for individuals at risk of losing their housing.

This project partners Agassiz/Harrison Community Services and HATS with Mennonite Central Committee.

“We are very pleased to be investing in skills based programs that will reduce community costs now and in the future,” said Wayne Green, executive director of United Way. “These grants are only available because of the incredibly generous donors we have here in the Fraser Valley.”

The United Way invested more than $150,000 in 16 local projects in B.C.

For more information about United Way, go to www.uwfv.bc.ca.