The Government of Canada is providing $250 million to municipalities and Indigenous communities, to support gun and gang violence prevention and intervention programs for gang members, children, young adults and youth-at-risk through the Building Safer Communities Fund (BSCF).
Purpose of the Fund
This funding supports local projects that address the underlying social conditions that give rise to gun and gang violence.
The City worked with community partners to determine Edmonton’s community approach for combating gun and gang violence prevention and intervention by addressing gaps in Edmonton’s system.
The approach outlines how our funding allocation of $4.2 million will be spent between 2023 and 2026.
Through the Building Safer Communities Fund, cities can distribute funds to:
Develop local and community–based strategies and initiatives
Build capacity to better understand the nature, scope and impacts of the types of prevention and intervention initiatives implemented
Enhance evidence-based and targeted prevention and intervention activities
Advance knowledge and evidence of what works, and develop a data collection strategy and system
Under the BSCF fund requirements, cities cannot use the funds to:
Replace or displace existing federal or provincial funding
Fund ongoing core activities, which includes costs already supported through existing police service agreements
While existing initiatives cannot be funded, the expansion or diversification of an initiative may be eligible.
In 2023 several community partners and people with lived experience were engaged to understand the gaps, needs and current ecosystem of initiatives on gang violence in Edmonton. The City hired pipikwan pêhtâkwan to interview community stakeholders impacted by gang violence in order to develop a recommendation report on how to best use the funds. Explore the input and recommendations:
The City of Edmonton will be working with community stakeholders and partners to implement the recommendations from January 2024-March 31, 2026. We encourage organizations to use this information, which will be helpful when applying for funding under the Building Safer Communities Fund.
Four Priority Funding Areas
Based on the recommendations made in the community approach for Edmonton, 4 priority areas were identified:
The majority of funds from the BSCF will be spent supporting community organizations’ projects through community grants. Under the requirements of the BSCF, grants will be available for community-led initiatives that address gaps in gang exiting and prevention programming needs not currently met by existing collaboratives and partnerships.
Visit Safer Communities Grant to learn more about the Building Safer Communities Fund grant.
The City will work in partnership with various stakeholders, including EPS, to create a targeted community education campaign aimed at students, parents and practitioners as well as a widespread campaign aimed at residents as part of an effort to prevent gang violence. Funds, for example, will be used to create a social campaign aimed at young people and create a website of resources that partner agencies can use. Community presentations will also be available to learn more about gangs in Edmonton.
Locations and dates will be shared here when available.
Edmonton Gang Situation Table
Coordination among community partners including Edmonton Police, community organizations, and existing community collaboratives will be increased with the creation of the Edmonton Gang Situation Table. The table will be developed in partnership with REACH Edmonton, which will be responsible for table operations.
Partners at the table will work collaboratively to support youth at risk. Safer Schools Together will generate data through open-source social media analysis to identify youth in need of intervention through Worrisome Online Behaviour reports and share these reports with partners participating on the Edmonton Gang Situation Table.
This early identification work is necessary to disrupt pathways to violence among youth and intervene and prevent violence.