VICTORIA, B.C. – The Province has announced that it is providing a one-time COVID-19 relief funding of $7.8 million to support friendship centres throughout British Columbia.

Through the B.C. Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, Premier John Horgan says this funding will help friendship centres continue to assist individuals, young families, single parents, youth and Elders through a mix of in-person and online services.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has tested everyone in ways we never imagined, and Indigenous peoples living in urban areas are relying on the help offered by friendship centres at unprecedented levels. We have provided additional funds through the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres to meet this significant demand and support the critical, culturally appropriate services that friendship centres are providing during this particularly challenging time.”

Friendship centres throughout B.C. provide many essential services for Indigenous peoples living in urban areas, including child care, counselling, food, and shelter. Over the past several months, friendship centres have seen a substantial increase in needs from people impacted by the pandemic.

This announcement is one of the immediate actions the Government is taking to protect British Columbians’ health and livelihoods from the threat of COVID-19.