Raising people out of poverty

Bill recently became one of the first residents to move into My Place, a temporary transitional shelter on Yates Street that we re-opened in December.

As Bill immediately stored his belongs under his new bunk, he had two things on his mind: laundry and a hot shower.

His thankfulness and gratitude for the stabilization he has found brought many of us to tears, and we are overjoyed that we can now move him further along on his journey back to healing and wellness.

Another new My Place resident, Carlos, fell on hard times and ended up sleeping on mats at the overnight shelter we operate at First Met United Church. He told us that without access to the shelter, he didn’t think he would be alive today.

“As a parent of a 13-year-old girl,” he said. “My goal is to get back on my feet in order to provide for my family, and I look forward to making the most of this wonderful chance we are given.”

It is stories like these that tell us our mission of raising people out of poverty is not only a necessity, but a gift.

When My Place first opened in response to Tent City, it was greeted with fear and trepidation. But thanks to the hard work of the staff, the residents, and members of the community, it ended on a high note.

Before it closed, we managed to move 70 people into permanent housing. When wediscovered the building was still empty as winter returned, we approached the City about re-opening My Place.

And this time, the community embraced us.

At Choices in View Royal, we faced a similar dilemma as the neighbourhood took a wary approach to our entering the community.

But, as we prepare to wind down that facility in the first quarter of this year, we are thrilled to report that 100 people have now been moved into permanent housing.
Shelter may be a band-aid solution, but it is often the very first step toward healing and housing.

In gratitude,
Don Evans
Executive Director