Bleecker Street Housing Co-operative wins national award

    MONTREAL, June 14 /CNW Telbec/ - Toronto's Bleecker Street Co-operative
Homes has been awarded the 2008 Jim MacDonald Award for Social Change. The
award will be presented today at the Co-operative Housing Federation of
Canada's annual general meeting in Toronto, at the Westin Harbour Castle
Convention Centre.
    The award is CHF Canada's highest honour and recognizes housing co-ops
for special work in health and social services, the environment, human rights
and civil liberties, or housing and co-operation.
    Bleecker Street, a 254-unit co-op in downtown Toronto, is receiving the
award in recognition of their community Rwanda Project. This initiative aims
to raise public awareness and donations for the Ineza Women's Co-operative in
Rwanda. The Ineza co-op supports HIV-positive women and children many of whom
are survivors of genocidal rape and sexual violence. The co-op helps them with
housing, healthcare, food, job-skills, therapy and social support. The
Bleecker/Ineza partnership was spearheaded by Bleecker board member Brian
Finch - a long-time HIV/AIDS activist.
    Bleecker Street held workshops that included slide-show presentations
with testimonials from the women themselves. They raised $5,100 through
raffles, member and corporate donations, a bake sale and car wash. The goal is
not only to raise money to support Ineza's programs, but to form a meaningful
and mutually beneficial partnership.
    The co-op plans to follow up by producing a video to send to Ineza Co-op
and implementing a youth exchange program with Ineza Co-op.
    "Bleecker Street's Rwanda Project demonstrates to the public and to the
co-op sector itself what we are all about - social justice, diversity and
community," says CHF Canada President Ken Elliott.

For further information:

For further information: visit or contact: Brian
Finch, Bleecker Street Co-operative Homes, (416) 520-6248; Diane Frankling,
Bleecker Street Co-operative Homes, (416) 920-7340,; Merrilee Robson, Program Manager,
Communications, (778) 227-3864(cell), (416) 861-8755 (CHF Canada conference
office, June 11 - 14),

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