June 20, 2019 2:07 pm

Funding lifeline pitched for group fighting sex assaults on Vancouver’s Granville Strip

Good Night Out's pink-shirt-clad street team walks the Granville Strip in this undated photo.

Good Night Out Vancouver

A Vancouver non-profit that works to prevent sexual harassment and assault in the nightclub district may not be forced to scrap its services for the busy summer season after all.

Good Night Out, which runs a four-person street team that patrols the Granville Entertainment District from midnight until 3 a.m., had warned that it may not be able to operate in July due to a lack of funding.

READ MORE: Funding gap could scrap Vancouver’s anti-sex assault street team this summer

The organization focuses its efforts particularly on women, LGBTQ2 people and other vulnerable groups.

WATCH: Good Night Out campaign comes to Vancouver

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According to a report headed to council next week, Good Night Out made contact with more than 2,500 people between June 2018 and April 2019, when it shut down services due to a funding gap.

It said the main reasons for contact were general check-ins for well-being, assistance to intoxicated people and providing information on informed consent.

READ MORE: Downtown Vancouver sexual assault support team suspends operations due to lack of funding

Now, city staff are recommending that Vancouver approve a $25,000 grant to keep it in operation. Of that amount, $20,000 would go to keeping the organization running this summer, and $5,000 would go to helping it develop a long-term fundraising strategy.

WATCH: Vancouver city council considering new safety measures for Granville

The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA) says it is willing to contribute an additional one-time donation of $10,000, should councillors approve the city grant.

In 2018, the city funded Good Night Out with $20,000 and the DVBIA put up $15,000 towards the organization’s estimated annual full-year operating costs of $65,000.

The organization is also operating an online crowdfunding campaign.

READ MORE: City of Vancouver spends more on safety along the Granville strip

The group says the majority of its costs involve paying staff a living wage, with smaller portions going to cover water and small snacks distributed to people on the street.

Council is set to vote on the grant next Tuesday.

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