Burnside Gorge Community Association
Our Impact Why We Exist
Here are a few examples of how the work of BGCA is impacting lives in the community:
- BGCA provides support services to families in housing crisis (homeless families or those at risk of becoming homeless) in the Greater Victoria area. In the past year, Housing Outreach worked with 360 families.
- BGCA provides a free, weekly community dinner, with 80-100 children, youth, families and seniors in attendance each week.
- Since its inception in 2002, the Family Self Sufficiency program has helped more than 400 individuals and families develop financial literacy skills, reduce debt, build financial assets and meet personal goals.
- The C'NEX parenting program provided intensive parenting education and support to more than 60 families in the past year, with the aim of stabilizing children in the care of their families.
- In the past year, BGCA provided outreach services to more than 45 at-risk youth and their families throughout the Greater Victoria area.
- Each year BGCA provides a special Christmas for low income families with hampers including food, gift cards and presents.
Our Story What We Do
BGCA provides social support, child care, recreation, youth and family services, and community development programs as well as a number of special events and partnership initiatives to children, youth, families and seniors in the Greater Victoria area. Programming includes:
Child care – Pre-school, out-of-school care, winter, spring and summer day camps.
Youth and Family Services – School and community based counselling services for families who struggle with parenting, homelessness, finances and other issues that are a barrier to meeting their children’s needs; youth outreach to at risk youth and youth transitioning from Government care to independence; family drop-in programs including a weekly community dinner and a Resource Room for low-income families to access free clothing, food and toiletries.
Housing and Asset Development – Direct housing and financial support to families in housing and financial crisis; long term asset building programs for families in subsidized housing; financial literacy workshops to youth and adults throughout the CRD.
Recreation and Special Events – Range of fitness and recreation opportunities for children, youth, families and seniors; community and special events; adventure day camps for youth during spring, summer and winter breaks.
Community Development – Burnside Gorge Community News with a distribution of 8,000; Community History projects; Public Art projects; environmental initiatives such as Friends of Cecelia Ravine and the Cecelia Ravine Community Gardens.
Our Programs How We Do It
The Youth Self Sufficiency Program (YSS) supports youth who are in foster care, on Youth Agreements, or those with no supports for up to two years as they transition into adulthood. YSS builds capacity in youth, helping them acquire the skills to move towards independence. Using an asset based approach, YSS focuses on: housing and employment readiness, education, relationship building, financial literacy, life skills, identity and health. The goal of the YSS program is to support youth to become self-reliant and provide them with the skills, tools and supports necessary to negotiate life as adults and meet the goals that they set for themselves through the program. YSS bridges the gap for youth who are transitioning in to adulthood and provides them with the tools and support to do so successfully.
The Family Self Sufficiency Program (FSS) is an innovative asset building and financial literacy skill development program for low-income families. The goals of FSS are to increase employability; increase financial capacity; offer savings opportunities; build financial literacy skills and knowledge; increase self reliance; decrease dependence on government supports, and; facilitate links to community resources. FSS offers three streams of programming to maximize impact: Core – three-year program open to families who live in subsidized housing; Accelerated – 12-18 month program open to low income families that are currently connected to other service agencies; and Community Education – providing financial literacy education to clients of community partner agencies, serving disadvantaged and marginalized populations.
What You Can Do
There are many ways that you can support the work that we do here at the BGCA. We are always looking for new volunteers to support our programs and special events. We accept donations of non-perishable food items as well as clean, gently used clothing that can be given to families in need. Financial support is also appreciated. Here are some examples of how donor dollars can be directed:
- $100 will cover the cost of a free community dinner serving more than 100 children, youth, families and seniors.
- $400 will sponsor a Christmas Hamper with food, gift cards and presents for one single parent family with three children.
- $600 will provide one rent supplement for five families experiencing a housing crisis.
- $1200 will provide First Aid Certification for 8 youth, helping them to develop their skills, create stronger resumes and increase employment opportunities.
If you would like more information on what you can do to help, please get in touch!