Ontario Safer and Vital Communities Grant – What you need to know

On July 22nd, the Ontario government announced a new grant that benefits community-based, non-profit organizations’ security needs. The Safer and Vital Communities Grant is a direct outcome of advocacy CIJA has engaged in at Queen’s Park, and at the roundtable with Ontario’s Solicitor General Sylvia Jones in February. We thank all partner organizations that have participated in CIJA’s advocacy activities.

We encourage all eligible community organizations to explore this funding opportunity, particularly given the temporary freeze in federal Security Infrastructure Program (SIP) funding. This letter is intended to inform you of the grant’s eligibility criteria, benefits, application instructions and what security infrastructure we recommend you apply for.

The Safer and Vital Communities Grant

This grant was created on the premise of “preventing hate motivated crime through community collaboration.” It encourages each institution to take a proactive, collaborative role in their own security that focuses on social development, prevention and risk intervention.

A total of $1.7 million is allocated to this program. Eligible non-profit organizations will be able to request up to $55,000 per year, for two years. This is one-time funding. The money can be used to fund the following:

  • Capital expenses to improve security infrastructure (e.g., closed circuit television cameras – see our recommendations below).
  • Personnel (e.g., to hire a coordinator to support the project, a counsellor, a clinician to support victims, etc.).

Applicants will have two years to complete their project once a funding decision has been made. It is anticipated that the Ministry will notify applicants of its funding decision in November 2020.


Community-based, not-for-profit incorporated organizations and community-based, not-for-profit organizations sponsored by an incorporated organization are eligible to apply. Schools are not eligible to apply at this time but may be considered partners in eligible organizations’ applications.

Any community-based, not-for-profit organization that is not incorporated must be sponsored by an incorporated organization that is an eligible applicant itself and must include a letter of confirmation from their sponsor along with their application. The letter must detail the sponsoring organization’s commitment to enter into a contractual agreement with the Ministry on behalf of the applicant. The sponsoring organization will also be required to submit proof of incorporation.We will work with organizations on a case-by-case basis to determine if sponsorship is available.

How to Apply

You can download the application package here. Your application must be 10 pages or shorter. One page should be dedicated to demonstrating each of the following:

  • Demonstrated need.
  • New project/elements.
  • Organizational knowledge and readiness.
  • Project outcomes and performance measurement.

Your application must also include:

Proof of incorporation.

  • Sponsor letter (if not incorporated).
  • Letter of support from your local police service and other organizations.


CIJA’s National Community Security and UJA Community Security Program work closely to align ourselves with best practices and lessons learned from key partners such as law enforcement and other Jewish community programs around the world. We mutually advocate that organizations consider fundamental and foundational physical security measures when putting together their applications, for example:

  1. Locked doors – the ability to control access to your buildings is crucial. Consider investing in solid doors with high-quality locks, with the possibility of implementing a fob system.
  2. Access control – a decent camera with intercom capability that allows you to be able to speak to someone outside from behind a locked door.
  3. Alert system – for example, a PA/alarm/light system to notify the building occupants of an emergency.
  4. Ability to call 911 – a panic button and/or phones in the building that can be used to call at any time (including on Shabbat).
  5. First aid and medical supplies – consider having tourniquets and wound packing material cached throughout the building.


CIJA hopes that your organization will take this opportunity to assess your needs, review protocols and implement life-saving projects that focus on prevention and risk intervention. We are available to help any organization with their assessment and application.

Organizations in the GTA, please contact UJA Community Security Director Ryan Clow: (416) 635-2883 Ext. 5531

Organizations outside the GTA, please contact CIJA Security Advisor Gerry Almendrades: (613) 234-8271 Ext. 228

Applications must be submitted to the Ministry by 4:00pm EST on September 16th, 2020 to Poonam.Sharma@ontario.ca. This is also the contact for general and technical assistance for the grant.


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