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Streetohome Foundation launches $26.5 million campaign

STH-Webmaster   |   May 25, 2010

Streetohome Foundation is making a significant step forward in helping our community to break the cycle of homelessness, with the launch today of a $26.5 million campaign toward creating new supportive housing in Vancouver.

The $26.5 million Streetohome campaign includes a $20 million contribution towards an overall $225 million capital project coordinated by BC Housing, to develop about 1,000 new supportive housing units on eight City of Vancouver sites. The remaining $6.5 million will be considered for other intermediate and permanent housing brought forward by the City and other organizations working with homeless individuals, along with education and awareness, policy development and research.

“We firmly believe that permanent housing with the appropriate supports is going to improve the quality of life for those on the street, or who are at risk of becoming homeless,” said John McLernon, Chair of Streetohome Foundation. “We are committed to finding new resources to help bridge the housing gap in Vancouver.”

The campaign’s lead gift comes from Streetohome Board member Frank Giustra of the Radcliffe Foundation. “Every night thousands of men, women and children in Vancouver live without a basic necessity most of us take for granted – a warm, safe place to sleep,” said Giustra. “This issue is personally important to me, which is why I have made a $5 million commitment to Streetohome and accepted the role of Campaign Chair.”

Other campaign committee members include Virginia Greene (President and CEO, Business Council of British Columbia), Joe Houssian (CEO, Intracorp Canada), Jake Kerr (Chair, Vancouver Foundation), John McLernon (Honourary Chair, Colliers International), Penny Nardelli (Executive Director, Carraresi Foundation), Tamara Vrooman (CEO, Vancity Credit Union) and Faye Wightman (President and CEO, Vancouver Foundation).

Giustra’s gift will go directly to the development of two sites at 1601 West 7th Avenue, and 1237 Howe Street. Construction of these two projects will begin later in 2010 and is expected to be completed by early 2012.

Through Phase 1 of our campaign, Streetohome will raise money to support the eight city sites, and to bring new resources to other innovative and creative housing projects across the city.

“Supportive housing is key to making a significant difference in helping people to transition off the streets”, says Streetohome Acting President Barbara Grantham. “We have chosen to work with the Province on developing the City Sites because of their commitment to provide the needed support services on-site – such as mental health services, life skills, and job training.”

Since being established in 2008, Streetohome Foundation has contributed more than $2 million to a variety of projects providing housing for more than 150 people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, including the London Hotel, the Aboriginal Mother Centre, the Homeless Emergency Action Team (HEAT), and the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s “At Home/Chez Soi”.

“Streetohome’s support for At Home/Chez Soi will allow us to provide safe, secure and supported housing for 100 people by the end of this year,” explains Catharine Hume, At Home project site coordinator for Vancouver. “In addition, because At Home is a research project, Streetohome’s contribution lets us answer some important questions about the housing and support needs of people who have mental illness, substance use issues and who have been homeless. Their interest in the At Home project reflects a commitment to finding a range of solutions to address and prevent homelessness.”

About Streetohome Foundation
Streetohome Foundation is dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness in Vancouver by ensuring that all citizens of Vancouver have access to safe, decent affordable housing. We bring together business, government and community leaders to build resources and develop lasting solutions to homelessness. Find out how you can be part of the solution at www.streetohome.org.

For more information, please contact:
Nicole Adams
Director, Communications & Community Relations
Streetohome Foundation
604.657.1176  |  [email protected]