Photo by Zoha Khalid

Last Updated on August 11, 2022 by YGK News Staff

United Way Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington and the City of Kingston announced the recipients of the 2022 Community Investment Fund on Wednesday morning.

The city and United Way are jointly granting a sum total of $451,169 to be distributed across 24 different projects, with the city kicking in a little under 50% of the total amount.

An annual call for applications allows not for profit organizations to seek funding for a wide variety of projects, with organizations normally deemed eligible as long as they provide social services and work within the KFLA area.

A news release from United Way KFL&A states that in total 29 different agencies applied for funding through the grant with a total ask of $673,245.

A volunteer committee reviews the written applications of not for profit organizations after they have a chance to present, and from there decides who will be the beneficiary of funding.

President and CEO of United Way KFL&A Bhavana Varma says while several deserving agencies always receive a boost through this program, the committee is still forced to make some tough decisions due to financial constraints.

“They were all great applications, I think all of them could have been funded if we had more money,” Varma said.

“What we used were different lenses. One was the equity, diversity, inclusion and indigenization… Another lens was also to look at people who are marginalized, people who are marginalized, people who are low income or people who would otherwise struggle. So really using that lens, rather than universal programs just honing in on where the greatest need was.”

Up until 2011, United Way and the City of Kingston had separate funding streams, but bringing it under one umbrella helps both sides contribute to organizations who may not otherwise be eligible, and it eases the load for agencies applying.

“We kind of work off each other and as staff we kind of make sure that all the applications that are submitted either the City or the United Way can fund,” Varma said

“And it saves the agencies having to apply twice.”

In Wednesday’s joint release, Kingston Director of Housing and Social Services Ruth Nordegraf commended the effort and care that was put into all of the applications received.

“The depth and quality of the proposals demonstrates how much our community cares about investing in programs, building a healthier Kingston, and responding to the needs of its most vulnerable members,” said Nordegraf.

“Together with United Way of KFL&A, we are encouraged to see the positive impact of the projects and programs offered by the successful grant recipients.”

A full list of recipients can be found on United Way KFL&A’s website, as well as a history of how grant programs like this one have made an impact in the community.