Streetohome Foundation contributes $750,000 of private donations to address homelessness



    VANCOUVER, Feb. 2 /CNW/ - Streetohome Foundation officially launched
today and gave $750,000 in private funding to projects that address
homelessness. The Foundation's aim is to help ensure that, by 2015, people who
are homeless in Vancouver have access to safe, decent, affordable housing and
support services.
    "This is the first, broad community-based initiative designed to tackle
homelessness in Vancouver," said John McLernon, Chair of Streetohome and
co-founder of Colliers International. "Streetohome brings together 25 leaders
from all sectors of the community: non-profits, community groups, governments
and business. Our work will bring new funding (particularly from private
donors), new partnerships and previously untapped strategic resources to build
on the work already being done to tackle homelessness."

    
    From private donors, the Streetohome Foundation raised funds for two
projects:
    -   $250,000 toward the just announced London Hotel Project with
        72 units. The funds will be used to renovate rooms and bathrooms for
        use by people who are homeless.
    -   $500,000 toward renovations to the Aboriginal Mothers' Centre. The
        renovations will create 16 units of transitional supportive housing.
        The apartments will help aboriginal women to get custody of their
        children who are in foster care, and help new mothers keep their
        babies.
    

    In addition to these donations, last December, again with the help of
private donors, Streetohome gave $500,000 to help the Province and City of
Vancouver fund temporary overnight shelter beds.
    "Community partnerships are the best way to tackle homelessness, which is
why the Province provided $500,000 to help start the Streetohome Foundation,"
said Rich Coleman, Minister of Housing and Social Development. "Thanks to the
Foundation's links to the community, we've had many anonymous donors step up
and help fund shelters and supportive housing."
    Besides the Province's initial financial support, Streetohome Foundation
was also given start-up funding - of $500,000 each - from the City of
Vancouver and Vancouver Foundation.
    "The work that Streetohome is doing to solve homelessness is catalyzing
change across the city," said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. "In just a few
short months, Streetohome has created partnerships and collaborations across
different sectors, and has made generous contributions to fund shelters and
housing. As Mayor, I am very excited about the work the city can do with
Streetohome in the years to come."
    Chief Justice Donald Brenner, who serves as Vice-Chair of Vancouver
Foundation, explained why Vancouver Foundation was eager to provide seed
funding for Streetohome. "For us, Streetohome represented a new approach to
the problem of homelessness: an opportunity to get everyone involved and tap
new sources of energy, support and funding. And it tied in well to the
philosophy we have at Vancouver Foundation - which is that we all owe
something back to our community."

    Streetohome plans to focus its initial work on its "QuickStart Program" -
an initiative to fund housing projects that include on-site support services
for chronically homeless individuals. The Foundation will also develop a
measurable, longer-term strategy to help ensure access to safe, decent and
affordable housing by 2015 for all people in Vancouver who are experiencing
homelessness.
    For more information on Streetohome Foundation, its structure, goals and
projects, go to: www.streetohome.org





For further information:

For further information: Catherine Clement, VP Communications, Vancouver
Foundation, (604) 629-5184 (w), (604) 561-5922 (c); or Hannah Lee, Community
Relations Coordinator, Streetohome Foundation, (604) 629-2711 (ext 503), (604)
719-5540

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STREETOHOME FOUNDATION

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