Streetohome Foundation launches $26.5 million campaign
to break the cycle of homelessness
Campaign Chair Frank Giustra gives a $5 million lead gift
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:
Director, Communications & Community Relations
604.657.1176 [email protected]
Today, about 3,700 people are homeless in Vancouver and that number is growing. In January 2010, Streetohome released Community Action on Homelessness: Streetohome’s 10 Year Plan for Vancouver to guide our efforts in facilitating safe, affordable, supportive housing for people who are homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless.
Streetohome’s focus is on groups that need our support the most. The results of other cities shows that people who have been homeless and are provided with housing that includes appropriate support services, have an 85 per cent success rate of staying housed. These groups include youth aging out of foster care, women and children, and adults who have been experiencing homelessness for a long time.
Solving homelessness is a community responsibility, and it will take a community effort. Streetohome is working with organizations across the spectrum to build on the good work already underway in our city.
The Streetohome 10 Year Plan:
- Identifies and recommends policies and initiatives that help prevent people from becoming homeless
- Outlines the scope of homelessness in our city, the supply of supportive housing, and assesses the gap in housing and services
- Defines the number and type of housing units and services needed to relieve homelessness in Vancouver
- Identifies the resources needed to create new housing
- Encourages community engagement
- Sets measurable goals to monitor progress
Streetohome’s key goals are:
- Provide permanent stable housing with appropriate support services
- Prevent people who are most vulnerable from becoming homeless
- Build broad public support and commitment for permanent solutions to homelessness
While 1,700 new units are under construction, our city still needs at least 2,000 new units to bridge the gap. To help build new homes, Streetohome Foundation is embarking on a fundraising campaign to raise $26.5 million.
The funds will be used to support:
- Construction on eight approved sites to create approximately 900 new, permanent supportive housing units
- Each site will focus on different populations (i.e. families, youth and the chronically homeless) and additional capital funds and ongoing operational funding will be provided by the Province of British Columbia
- Opportunities for projects and other housing developments along the housing continuum
- Community education and awareness; and
- Policy development, research, accountability (i.e. Annual Report Card) and evaluation
Suite 1200 – 555 W. Hastings Street
Box 12132, Harbour Centre
Vancouver BC, V6B 4N6
e. [email protected]