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Community Wellness and Harm Reduction Grants

Grants to British Columbia Municipalities for Projects That Address
Substance-Use Disorders and Enhance Health Outcomes

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Funding Source:

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Community Action Initiative (CAI), Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions (MMHA), and Overdose Emergency Response Centre (OERC)

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Grants ranging from $15,000 to $50,000 to British Columbia municipalities in partnership with regional health authorities for project and activities that address substance-use disorders and enhance health outcomes. Funding is intended to support harm-reduction programs that are suited to local needs. In particular, funding is available for collaborative harm-reduction projects designed to enhance the knowledge, skills, and resources required for individuals, families, and communities to be safer, healthier and more inclusive. The goal of the harm-reduction approach is to prevent the negative health and social outcomes associated with substance use and to improve health and wellness.

Harm reduction is a client-centered approach that seeks to reduce the health and social harms associated with addiction and substance use. Harm reduction does not necessarily require people who use substances to abstain or stop using. Included in the harm-reduction approach to substance use are a series of programs, services and practices designed to keep people safe and minimize death and disease. Essential to this approach is an opportunity to empower people who use substances with knowledge and tools to minimize harms, including through non-judgmental and non-coercive strategies that enhance skills and knowledge to live safer and healthier lives. 

The main features of harm reduction include:

  • Pragmatism
  • Human Rights
  • Focus on Harms
  • Maximize Intervention Options
  • Priority of Immediate Goals
  • Involvement of People Who Use Drugs

For additional information about harm reduction features, see:

Community wellness and harm-reduction applications should:

  • Incorporate people who use drugs in the planning and delivery of services.
  • Show awareness that there is more than one social identity among drug users, and there are unique needs associated with identifying with an additional marginalized group (e.g. LGBTQIA+, youth, economic precarity, individuals engaged in sex work, people experiencing homelessness, people diagnosed with a mental illness or disability).
  • Build, or support building, on the individual and/or community capacities of people with lived experience (including families).
  • Demonstrate a partnership with local health authorities, community-based organizations and/or local First Nations communities and Indigenous service providers.
  • Demonstrate cultural humility towards, and safety for, First Nations, Métis and Urban Aboriginal Peoples.
  • Address one or more interventions detailed in the OERC’s Comprehensive Package of Interventions (Appendix A). 

For a list of examples, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 187154

Estimated Size of Grant:

Funding ranges from $15,000 to $50,000.

Term of Contract:

All proposed project activities should be completed, and funding spent by December 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants
- The lead applicant must be a municipality in British Columbia.
- Lead applicants must partner with a regional health authority.
- Collaboration with local First Nations communities and community-based organizations, including Indigenous service providers, is strongly encouraged.
- For-profit businesses, business associations, public safety, research institutions and primary care providers are not eligible to apply for this grant funding but may be included in the applicant’s proposed Project Team.
- Preference will be given to communities without existing Community Action Teams established through the province’s Overdose Emergency Response Center.

Projects/initiatives not in scope include initiating new overdose prevention or supervised consumption sites.

Pre-Application Information:

Online applications are now being accepted until November 18, 2019.

Grants are awarded in January 2020.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

If you are experiencing issues logging into the system, please contact:

Melinda Markey, Provincial Secretariat Director

For all other inquiries, please contact:, or phone: (604) 638-1172

Community Action Initiative
1183 Melville Street,
Vancouver, BC V6E 2X5

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: British Columbia

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