2022 Community Contributions dedicated to building strong relationships
By Pauline Sydenham, Communications Specialist
Thanks to another strong year of community collaboration and projects, Urban Matters has been able to direct $225,000 back to communities as part of its annual contributions. That’s 87 percent of profits in 2022!
As a company, our vision is to co-create inclusive communities where everyone has opportunity to thrive. For us, this means driving action at both the community level as well as system level. Our community contributions this year aim to do just that: empower the agency of people with lived and living experience in community and find solutions that have the power to fundamentally change how we approach systemic social issues.
Our latest round of community contributions goes to three outstanding community organizations: Green Violin in Edmonton, PEOPLE Lived Experience Society in Kelowna, and B.C.’s Community Action Initiative (CAI). Together, these three organizations are doing impactful work in affordable housing and the empowerment of people with lived and living experience (PWLLE). We are proud to be part of community solutions and support these organizations as they serve their communities in unique and impactful ways.
Community Action Initiative (CAI)
Urban Matters has once again chosen to contribute $100,000 to deliver a micro-grant program with CAI. After learning of the massive impact that peer groups generated in their communities with just a small boost in funding, we were inspired to continue this program and help uplift the work of PWLLE. We are eager to see how a second year of funding will build on momentum started from the previous year.
Our team is also looking forward to further supporting the peer network in skill and capacity building. We are exploring ways to offer a meaningful opportunity for professional development and networking. By investing in people development, we can help ensure individuals and communities have the tools they need to sustain efforts and create lasting change.
PEOPLE Lived Experience Society
In the spirit of nurturing successful partnerships, we chose to contribute $20,000 to PEOPLE Lived Experience Society, a social enterprise launched in Kelowna in 2019 that secures meaningful work opportunities for those with lived or living experience of substance use.
Over the years, Urban Matters has provided PEOPLE Lived Experience Society with organizational support as it has undergone transitions. First to launch it as a non-profit, and again as it transitioned to a new and very capable leader.
Together, our teams have worked together to design and deliver significant community projects with the City of Kelowna – first, the PEOPLE Peer Navigator and Capacity Building Project, and now the Indigenous Harm Reduction Team project.
PEOPLE has been an integral part of successful systems change in the Okanagan and we want to continue to support their goal of further embedding itself in the social serving sector. We will cap off our financial support with one additional year to support their organizational development.
We are excited to form a new partnership with Green Violin, a community development company in Edmonton, Alberta, and launch an innovative housing project in 2023!
As two companies dedicated to supporting the well-being of neighbourhoods, we know that safe and stable housing is a key determinant of health. But with inflationary pressures affecting households across the nation, more and more individuals are slipping into housing insecurity or even homelessness.
Together, we will explore the potential of “unconventional actors” in becoming more central players in Edmonton’s affordable housing space. We believe there are many organizations out there that have something to offer (assets like land, funding, or expertise) that are simply not recognized or utilized enough by the mainstream housing system. Through a Community Innovation Lab, we want to test whether this is true, and if so, to what extent is it an issue and why? Beyond research, we also want to experiment with implementing tangible solutions that we have identified through our exploration. This project is a bold leap forward for Urban Matters and Green Violin who seek to discover new opportunities and innovative solutions.
Urban Matters was incorporated in 2014 as a Community Contribution Company. Our business model aligns with our mission to achieve positive outcomes in the communities where we live and work. That’s why we contribute a minimum of 60 percent of our profits into innovative, community-led projects in Canada. Since 2016, we have contributed a total of $625,000 back into communities.