The Healthy Communities Initiative is a $31 million investment from the Canadian government to transform public spaces in response to COVID-19.
Public spaces are the glue to communities as they enable a feeling of belonging, of social cohesion, and encourage a sense of collective identity. COVID-19 has seriously constrained the access and use of these spaces in communities across Canada, Community Foundations of Canada said on its website. Impacts of the virus have also been extraordinarily uneven, underscoring inequalities across communities and disproportionately impacting those who are already experiencing vulnerability as a result of systemic inequalities.
In the face of these challenges, communities have been resourceful and resilient in improvising temporary and longer-lasting solutions to the challenges of COVID-19. Many are undertaking work for immediate needs but also thinking about how to build pandemic-resilient spaces for the future. People are using new digital solutions to feel connected, safe, and healthy all while respecting public health measures and norms such as physical distancing and mask-wearing.
The Healthy Communities Initiative will provide funding to a broad range of organizations, including local governments, charities, Indigenous communities, and nonprofits, for projects, programming, and services that help communities:
- create safe and vibrant public spaces,
- improve mobility options and
- provide innovative digital solutions to connect people and improve health.
Organizations can apply to the Healthy Communities Initiative through March 9.
Those interested in applying to the Healthy Communities Initiative are invited to:
- read the ‘Applicant Guide’ to learn more about the initiative and the application process;
- visit the resource library to explore helpful tools including the equity guidance and a screencast of the application process; and
- sign up for community mobilization sessions to learn more about the themes of the Healthy Communities Initiative and best practices around project planning and applying for funding.
A second application round for the Healthy Communities Initiative will take place starting in May.