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Evergreen United facing tough times

By Adam Riley Apr 24, 2023 | 11:19 AM

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The Executive Director of Evergreen United, which provides programming to children in the Simpson – Ogden neighbourhood says the post pandemic recovery for operations are facing troubles.

Linda Bruins says while some funding has come in she is still worried a vital asset for children could be lost.

“We’ve cut costs as best we can, we are receiving funding as we’re going. We just got word from the United Way last week, we’re fortunate we’re getting funding from them, and they had their struggles. We had a fundraiser but its certainly tight.”

Bruins adds they’ve been able to make ends meet for the $137,000 in operating costs it takes to run the facility, which turned an old biker gang home on Heron Street into a children’s activity and community centre.

She notes the recovery from Covid is proving to be harder than keeping the doors open while the stay at home orders and gathering limitations were in place, especially in securing other funding sources.

“There is so much more competition, if you apply for a provincial grant, that is every not-for-profit organization in Ontario, that is huge. People weren’t able to fund raise during the pandemic so again it put everyone in a tight spot.”

Food security is also a concern, specifically as demand has increased, even before the pandemic, going from a weekly barbeque to providing four hot meals a week to kids who attend programming.

Since its inception 15 years ago Evergreen United has won several awards, adopted Minnesota Park and lead community sports and recreation programs for over a decade. and was one of the first neighbourhood associations in the city.



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