A Message from Circles of Support & Accountability (CoSA) Ottawa

As many of you have heard, on February 21st CoSA sites across Canada were informed by Correctional Services Canada (CSC) that contracts would not be renewed after March 2014.  After a vigorous letter campaign by CoSA providers and many supporters like you, to key stakeholders, in particular, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney, CSC reversed their decision and contracts are now being drawn up for the new fiscal year.  CSC was providing $650,000/yr spread across all CoSA sites in Canada – this is the amount they have agreed to reinstate.  For us in Ottawa, this represents $12,000/yr.  The funds from CSC, together with the 5 year funding 16 CoSA sites have been receiving from the National Crime Prevention Centre, total $2.2M/yr.  The NCPC funding concludes on September 30, 2014, with no option for renewal. 

The funds from both CSC and NCPC have allowed CoSA sites to operate at capacity – including: hiring at least one full time and one part time staff and rent office space.  This has allowed us to maximize the number of core members (former offenders) we can work with. 

Although we are very pleased that CSC has agreed to reinstate their funding to us, we are concerned that with the loss of the NCPC funds, which represents approximately 80% of our budget at CoSA-Ottawa, we will be forced to reduce our operations considerably, directly affecting the number of core members we can safely manage.  Although we have been vigorously seeking alternate sources of revenue, fundraising over $15,000 this year, we have found that our mandate does not align with the priorities of most private funding organizations.  If you have any suggestions of possible funding sources, or would like to discuss this, we would love to hear from you.

Thank you so much for your support, concern and advocacy during this difficult time.

Susan Love, CoSA Program Co-ordinator

slove@cosa-ottawa.ca    tel: 613 288-2284

cell: 613 266-6309   fax: 613 237-6129  

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