Vancouver City Council has approved millions of dollars in funding aimed at keeping the city’s streets clean in 2023.
Councillors authorized $2.46 million on Tuesday for the 2023 Street Cleaning Grant program.
The money goes to non-profit groups the city says help keep streets clean by supplementing city crews, while offering low-barrier job opportunities to some of Vancouver’s most vulnerable.
The grants are centred around “micro-cleaning,” which involves foot patrols with brooms, shovels and carts who collect trash and needles.
Micro-cleaning efforts form a large part of the city’s recently-approved Chinatown revitalization plan.
2023 grant recipients include the Mission Possible Compassionate Ministries Society ($1.07 million), the Coast Mental Health Foundation ($735,000), United We Can ($469,000) and The Binners’ Project ($55,000).
In a media release, the city said the program helped offer more than 70,000 work hours to people facing barriers to traditional employment, and collected 34,000 bags of litter and more than 100,000 needles.
Last year, the city cancelled a $320,000 “Block Stewardship” and street cleaning contract with the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU), after determining it had prioritized community development and individual empowerment over street cleaning.