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Communitas Receives Vancity Grant

Communitas Supportive Care Society has received a grant from Vancity through Vancity’s Community Partnership Program. The $10,000 grant will support the Communitas Employment program.

“Bringing together community partners with opportunities to support people in our communities is the aim of both Communitas and Vancity,” says chief executive officer, Karyn Santiago. “We are grateful to have partners who live out this goal.”

The funds from this grant will support the Customer Service Training Program, which is part of Communitas Social Enterprises. The training program is one of several that support people living with mental health challenges or intellectual disabilities who are looking to re-enter the workforce but may lack skills or work experience. Melissa is currently enrolled as a trainee. She has a learning disability and lives with anxiety. She wasn’t sure if she’d ever be able to work as a receptionist again. The customer service training has restored her confidence in herself and given her hope.

“Without this program I wouldn’t have the opportunity to gain experience as a receptionist,” she says. “The work experience has refreshed my skills and has taken away my fears. I feel confident enough in myself that I can say ‘yes, I can look for a job in this field and get the job.’”

Vancity funds are provided to community groups through the credit union’s Shared Success program as a way of sharing profits with their members and investing in the broader community.

“In return, Communitas looks forward to sharing their own investments in building human capacity for people of all abilities,” Santiago says.

Photo above: L-R Mathew Ramsay (Vancity Assistance Branch Manager), CEO for Communitas Karyn Santiago, Mellisa (Trainee with the Communitas Customer Service Program) Communitas Employment Specialist Donna Esau, Communitas COO George Jacob, and Dana-Rae Pezzolesi (Communitas Photo: Veronica Harms)

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