One of the projects of the Consumer Initiative Fund is the Crisis Grants.
Crisis Grants are for people who have lived experience with mental health issues or substance use issues. When a person with the lived experience runs into an unexpected expense that affects their monthly budget, they can apply for a Crisis Grant. The Grant is valued at $85.
Crisis Grants must be for an expense, for example lost ID or having to travel for a death in the family. Those are just examples though. There are many reasons for applying for a Crisis Grant.
The Grants do not cover things like poor budgeting, such as not having enough funds at the end of the month. And can only be granted every 2 years. So if you have received a grant, you must wait 2 years before you can apply again.
The processing time for the grants is two weeks. With application deadlines being the first and third Wednesdays of the month. If there are more applications than grants available a random draw is done, so the awarding of the grants is fair. If they do not receive a grant, people can apply for the next grant cycle.
Grants are awarded one week after the deadlines – on the second and fourth Wednesdays. The Grants are cash, so there is no complication or extra steps to receiving the funds.
Last year we received 209 applications of which 133 received grants. There were 30 who had applied before the two year wait was over, and had to continue to wait. And 31 that were not eligible. Leaving 15 in totally for the year that did not make the random draw. So applying to the Crisis Grants a viable option for people who have a financial crisis that meets our qualifications.
The form for the Grants can be found at http://SpotlightOnMentalHealth.com/crisis and it must be filled out and sent in by a care provider that knows the applicant well. The care provider can be someone at a mental health and substance use team, one of the staff at a resource centre or club house, a Peer Navigator, a Peer Support Worker, or a doctor or nurse.
In summary, the Crisis Grants are a great help for people with lived experience who have unexpected financial hardship.