Whistler, BC: In April 2020, The Zero Ceiling Society of Canada (Zero Ceiling) was announced as having been chosen as the recipient of $13,000 in unrestricted funding by the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s (RMOW’s) Community Enrichment Program (CEP).

The RMOW’s CEP fund is an opportunity for Whistler not-for-profits to receive financial support through projects that enhance the community of Whistler and surrounding areas. Grantees are organizations or societies that benefit the resort municipality and move the community closer to its vision. To qualify for a grant through the CEP, applicants must operate in one of the following categories: Environment, Social Service, Community Service, Recreation and Sport, or Arts and Culture.

This round of granting looked different than it had in previous years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, only seven organizations who were delivering social service programs were selected to receive funding, and the other categories were postponed, for a total of $117,166 granted in April. Zero Ceiling is extremely grateful to the RMOW to have received these unrestricted funds.

These funds came at a critical time for Zero Ceiling and in particular, the participants in the Work 2 Live program. As the province instated lockdown measures, Zero Ceiling saw the demand for services skyrocket from participants and past participants. In times of crisis, people who are already being marginalized are most at risk. Zero Ceiling’s program participants have largely experienced poverty, discrimination, family conflict, and intergenerational trauma throughout their young lives. RMOW’s support ensured that they are not left behind as our province moves toward recovery.

“We’re especially grateful for the unrestricted nature of this grant. None of us know what the next few months will look like in Whistler. These unrestricted funds will help us adapt our programs to the ‘new normal’ and provide the right support for the young people we serve. We’re still working closely with many Work 2 Live participants and graduates, ensuring they have stable housing, income, and mental health support. As we move towards recovery, we’ll help them re-enter employment, work towards their personal goals, and get outside in nature.”

For more information, contact Chris Wrightson, Zero Ceiling’s Co-Executive Director at chris@ZEROCEILING.org or (604) 962-5000.

About Zero Ceiling: Zero Ceiling is a registered charity based in Whistler, BC, and was founded in 1997 by Canadian skier and philanthropist, Chris Winter. The organization’s mission is to end youth homelessness. It aims to accomplish this through its two programs for youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness in BC: The Adventure Sessions and Work 2 Live. The Adventure Sessions organizes day-trips for groups of youth to come to Whistler and go on an adventure in the mountains with our partners at Whistler Blackcomb and The Adventure Group. Work 2 Live is a 12-month transitional program that provides supportive housing, supportive employment, and wrap-around supports to up to 8 participants a year, and continuing support to program graduates when requested.