62-unit building will support those with mental health challenges
VANCOUVER, Dec. 17 /CNW/ - Streetohome Foundation's promise to help
build 1,000 new homes for those in need in Vancouver took a major step
forward today, in partnership with the City of Vancouver and the
Province of BC; the first shovels went into the ground at 1601 West 7th Avenue.
"We're very excited to see the start of a project that's going to make a
difference in the lives of so many people," said John McLernon, Chair
of the Streetohome Foundation. "In 18 months, what is now an empty lot
will be home to 62 people who greatly need the care and support that
this housing can provide."
Under construction at the corner of West 7th Avenue and Fir Street, this new nine-storey building will provide 62
apartments with integrated support services for individuals who are
homeless or at risk of homelessness. It is the first of eight sites
supported through a $20 million commitment from Streetohome Foundation.
"Supportive housing connects individuals with the services and supports
they need in the community and this is a vital step in helping to break
the cycle of homelessness," said Rich Coleman, Minister of Public
Safety and Solicitor General and Minister Responsible for Housing.
"This supportive housing development is the first with Streetohome and
the seventh in our partnership with the City of Vancouver. I know that
all the partners look forward to the next stage - opening these
facilities and helping individuals begin new lives in the community."
Launched with support from the Vancouver Foundation, the City of
Vancouver, and the Province of BC, the Streetohome Foundation aims to
bring all community partners together to find new and innovative
solutions to homelessness in this city.
"We're making a real difference in turning the tide on homelessness
through our partnerships with the Streetohome Foundation and the
provincial government," said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.
"Streetohome has been generous in its support of permanent supportive
housing initiatives in Vancouver, and we're working together towards
our goal of ending street homelessness by 2015. These kinds of
partnerships between governments and the philanthropic sector are
crucial to making effective, long-lasting positive change."
In January 2010, Streetohome Foundation launched a 10-Year Plan to break
the cycle of homelessness in Vancouver, including the need for 2,000
new units of supported housing in Vancouver. In May 2010, Streetohome
pledged $20 million to leverage a $205 million commitment from the
Province of BC and a land contribution worth $32 million from the City,
to create 1,000 new housing units for people who are homeless or at
risk of homelessness in Vancouver, as part of its overall $26.5 million
Each of the eight City sites funded through the partnership will focus
on populations with specific needs, such as adults who are chronically
homeless, youth, and individuals with mental health challenges. 1601
West 7th Avenue will be managed and operated by Katherine Sanford
Housing Society. A community resource centre located on the first and
second floors will provide services for mental health clients and will
be operated by the MPA Society.
"The Katherine Sanford Housing Society believes that all individuals
have a right to decent affordable housing that gives them dignity and
independence," said Bonnie Rice, Executive Director of Katherine
Sanford Housing Society. "Problems such as homelessness and mental
illness exist in every community. These 62 new supportive housing units
that will be built in Fairview Kitsilano will result in a healthier and
more inclusive community for everyone. We are very grateful to all the
partners like the Streetohome Foundation for the funding support that
has helped make it possible. "
The Streetohome Plan identifies a number of key strategies needed to
help people access appropriate housing, and prevent people from
becoming homeless. Projects such as this one include the important
staffing and support needed to help individuals who have challenges
staying in housing.
"MPA Society is proud to partner with Streetohome, Katherine Sanford
Housing Society, BC Housing, Vancouver Coastal Health and the City of
Vancouver in realizing the goal of breaking the cycle of homelessness,"
said David MacIntyre, Executive Director of MPA Society. "This project
provides much needed housing while providing important social,
recreational and other advocacy based services for adults living with
Since 2009, Streetohome has committed more than $22 million in funding
for a variety of projects, including the City's HEAT Shelters, Atira
Society's London Hotel, the Mental Health Commission of Canada's At
Home/Chez Soi project, and the Aboriginal Mother Centre.
About the partners:
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
Katherine Sanford Housing Society:
Established in 1989, Katherine Sanford Housing Society is a registered
charitable organization. The society's role is to advocate for housing
for people with a mental illness and to develop innovative, efficient,
and cost-effective housing that is responsive to the individual needs
of people with a mental illness. Katherine Sanford Housing Society has
developed 16 licensed community residences and three supported
apartment projects accommodating more than 200 people in typical
residential neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Richmond.
MPA Society is a non-profit and registered charitable organization
founded in 1971 by people experiencing the debilitating effects of
mental illness and their supporters. The MPA Society with its long
established history is a recognized leader in community mental health
service program delivery and has been a proud member of the Kitsilano,
Vancouver, Maple Ridge and Surrey communities for over 39 years.
SOURCE STREETOHOME FOUNDATION
For further information: For further information:
Nicole Adams, Streetohome Foundation - 604.629.2711, ex 103 www.streetohome.org
Rhonda Nguyen, BC Housing - 604.439.4740; 604.374.8301
Corporate Communications, City of Vancouver - 604.871.6336