Cindy Beedie pledges $375,000 in matched gifts to help reach final $4.3 million goal to expand Powell Place Women's Shelter
Number of homeless women steadily rising, accounts for 30 per cent of all homeless people in Vancouver
VANCOUVER, Nov. 22, 2012 /CNW/ - Homeless women in Vancouver are one step closer to having an expanded and improved Powell Place Women's Shelter, thanks to a matching total pledge of $375,000 from Vancouver's Cindy Beedie and the Beedie family. Cindy will be matching donations from now until Christmas day, December 25th, 2012.
"I stand behind Powell Place because I believe in the work they do," said Cindy Beedie, chair of the Powell Place capital campaign. "The women Powell Place serve struggle with poverty, addictions, mental health issues and the effects of acute and systemic violence and abuse. At Powell Place, women receive a safe place to stay and access to the support they need to move forward in their lives."
"My hope is to give the final push to make the expansion of Powell Place a reality by December 25th, which will bring critical essential services to desperate women on the Downtown Eastside."
Last year Powell Place received 1,600 requests for shelter, which they were unable to accommodate.
Like so many others, Cindy was shocked and saddened by the latest homeless count figures. The 2011 Metro Vancouver Homeless Count showed that the female share of the homeless population has increased dramatically over the last several years:
The proportion of females in the homeless population has been rising
since 2005. In 2005, one in four homeless person (26%) was female but
by 2011 nearly one in three (30%) was female.
— 2011 Metro Vancouver Homeless Count Key Findings
"This is a critical situation for these women and I find it unacceptable for women to be turned away from shelters that are full when I know more help can be made available," continues Cindy. "Everyone's dollar counts. We are so close to reaching our goal and our family will contribute up to $375,000 in matching donations, meaning every contribution is effectively doubled."
The expanded Powell Place, slated to begin renovations in spring 2013, will have the necessary space to provide counseling and learning opportunities that enable women to transition successfully to the next step of their journey, including:
- 52 beds available to vulnerable women - 24 hours a day, seven days a week,
- health assessment and treatment facilities,
- workshop and group space,
- enclosed outdoor space and garden,
- recreation areas,
- a commercial kitchen and eating areas.
"Cindy understands the impact that safe and supportive services can have for women who live with multiple challenges," says St. James women's services director Trudi Shymka. "This gift will be the catalyst to get those last dollars in to make Powell Place a more accessible space with better facilities to help more women find their footing and begin to heal."
About Powell Place
The Powell Place Women's Shelter helps vulnerable women:
- escape physical and sexual violence at home, on the street and in mixed-gender facilities where there is also a high risk of sexual abuse and intimidation
- secure benefits, access appropriate community resources and work towards self reliance
- overcome dependence on alcohol or drugs and make positive changes in their behavior, empowering them to lead healthier lives and seek treatment options
- by believing in every woman's ability to rebuild her life - help them imagine something different, regain her hope and recognize and act on her unique strengths.
Powell Place was, and continues to be, a pioneer in providing women-only emergency shelter. The low-barrier facility, open 24/7 year-round, has a well-earned reputation of providing trusted safety and support for the most vulnerable women in the Downtown Eastside. Powell Place, run by St. James Community Service Society, serves 300 women a year, approximately 40 percent of whom are helped to successfully move on to permanent housing or treatment facilities. This is well above the national industry average. Despite this success, the service is forced to turn away requests for shelter every day due to limited capacity.
Powell Place Women's Shelter, currently in a temporary location, will move back to its original home at 329 Powell Street - with upgraded facilities, expanded services and the ability to accommodate twice as many women - thanks to private donors like the Beedies and commitments from the Province of BC (through BC Housing), the City of Vancouver. Other donors include St. Mary's Kerrisdale Anglican Church, Rudy and Patricia North, Central City Foundation and Face the World Foundation. The project has an estimated total price tag of $4.3 million, with the final $750,000 still to be raised during this private capital campaign.
SOURCE: St. James Community Service SocietyFor further information:
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To learn more about Powell Place and the capital campaign go to www.expandpowellplace.com.