April 11, 2012, Vancouver –Today Streetohome Foundation is pleased to announce that it has received two generous commitments in support of its capital campaign to break the cycle of homelessness in Vancouver. CIBC and Canadian Western Bank have both contributed generously to the campaign in support of the housing development at 1134 Burrard Street. The building, which is supported by Streetohome Foundation’s capital campaign, will provide homes for 141 youth and adults who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The Province of B.C. and the City of Vancouver broke ground today on the site, which is scheduled for completion in July 2013.
“Supporting our city’s youth is one of the keys to solving the issues of homelessness in Vancouver,” said Dick Vollet, President of Streetohome Foundation. “Most of the youth living on the street are either former foster children or have been forced out of their homes due to abuse or poverty. Many of these youth, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be able to access resources that we often take for granted – the security of a safe and welcoming home and consistent support with practical life skills training.”
“Supportive housing developments are important investments in our communities. They provide homeless people and at-risk youth with a place where they can discover safe, affordable housing and programs that can help them to become more productive members of our society,” said Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Housing. “Burrard Street brings us another step closer to reducing homelessness and helping people create new opportunities to change their lives.”
This new building will provide 141 new units, 30 of which will be committed to youth under the age of 25, as well as integrated support services for individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. This building is supported by Streetohome’s $26.5 million capital campaign, which will also support a number of other supportive housing projects in Vancouver.
“Canadian Western Bank works hard to ensure that our support meets the immediate and long-term needs of the organizations we partner with and the communities that they serve,” said Angela Saveraux, Canadian Western Bank’s Community Investment Manager. “When we learned about this project and the important programming that will be offered in-house, we knew it was a perfect fit for us.”
“At CIBC, we care about nurturing and educating Canada’s kids and young adults,” says Mike Stevenson, Senior Vice President, Retail Markets, CIBC. “We’re proud to support organizations like Streetohome in helping youth in Vancouver build a better future off the streets.”
The Burrard Street development will be operated by The Kettle Friendship Society. The Kettle Friendship Society will provide tenants with access to group and individual support, training on household management and meal preparation, and skills training in money management and community living. The building will also be the home of Directions Youth Services Centre, run by Family Services of Greater Vancouver, which will also support the youth who live in the 30 youth-designated units. Directions provides health, mental health and addiction services, counseling, employment and training opportunities, peer support services, access to community and business partnerships and practicum programs, literacy and life skills training, and recreational, interactive, and artistic (music and art) programs. It will also include a Vancouver School Board Learning Centre.
“Our programs provide the staffing, stability and support needed to help individuals with challenges such as mental illness or homelessness stay in housing,” said Nancy Keough, Executive Director of the Kettle Friendship Society. “This building will provide much needed housing and deliver support services to adults and youth who may be accessing these things for the very first time.”
“Youth who are living with mental illness or who have had problems finding work and living in one consistent home are vulnerable and face many challenges,” said Caroline Bonesky, CEO of Family Services of Greater Vancouver. “For many young people, our programs will provide the type of supports they are searching for, so that they can get on their feet, become stable, and plan for the next stages in their adult lives.”
About the partners:
About Streetohome Foundation:
Streetohome Foundation is a community organization working to ensure that all citizens of Vancouver have access to safe, decent, affordable, supportive housing. We bring together business, government, service providers and community leaders to build resources and develop lasting solutions to homelessness. Current initiatives include funding and facilitating housing for individuals who are chronically homeless, people who require housing with supports, and for mothers with children. Visit www.streetohome.org for more information.
About the Province of B.C.:
Over the last decade, the Province has invested $2.8 billion to provide affordable housing for low‐income individuals, seniors and families. This year, more than 95,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services. Visit www.bchousing.org/Initiatives/Creating/PHI to learn more about provincial programs and services to address homelessness.
About The Kettle Friendship Society:
The Kettle supports over 3600 individuals in Metro Vancouver living with mental illness to lead healthier lives by providing housing, employment, advocacy and support services. For more information, please visit http://www.thekettle.ca/.
About Family Services of Greater Vancouver:
Since 1928, people experiencing challenges have been turning to Family Services of Greater Vancouver—a community-based not-for-profit organization providing crucial social services to children, youth, adults, and families across Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby, New Westminster, and Surrey. We offer support, provide hope, and present opportunities—helping people realize and create possibilities for themselves. All of our work is about building healthy, vibrant tomorrows. Please visit http://www.fsgv.ca/ to learn more.
About Canadian Western Bank:
As the largest publicly traded Canadian bank headquartered in Western Canada, Canadian Western Bank (CWB) is committed to making a difference at the local level. Through corporate donations, sponsorship and employee volunteerism, we strive to positively impact communities and social initiatives that are important to our clients and employees. In order to maximize the benefits of our contributions, we focus our support in the areas of education, health and wellness, and community and civic services. Visit www.cwbankgroup.com/csr to learn more.
CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, employees and our communities. We aim to make a difference in communities through corporate donations, sponsorships and the volunteer spirit of employees. With a strategic focus on Kids, Cures and Community, and employee commitment to causes including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, the CIBC Children’s Foundation and United Way, we are investing in the social and economic development of communities across the country. In 2011, CIBC contributed over $35 million to charitable and non-profit initiatives in Canada to support national, regional and local organizations. To learn more, visit www.cibc.com.