Saanich Council Backs Housing for Seniors

Saanich Council Supports Cool Aid’s 11th Supportive Housing Building. Campaign Cabinet Announced

Rob Reid thanks Saanich

At its regular Council meeting last night, the District of Saanich voted to provide an affordable housing grant of $112,000 to “Cottage Grove”, a new development of 45 supportive housing apartments for seniors who have been homeless, at 3207 Quadra, just north of Tolmie. (The development was approved unanimously on July 14th by Council.) A news conference will be held this morning at 10:15 am to show the property (just north of the Italian Bakery) and introduce the “Help End Homelessness” Campaign Cabinet.

The number of seniors who are homeless has been steadily growing in the Capital Region as has their ratio within the population of people without homes. Fully half of the 375 people presently housed by Cool Aid are 55 or older. 15% of the people temporarily staying at our emergency shelters, about 260 seniors last year, are also 55+.

Council unanimously supported this proposal, which is very similar to Cool Aid’s Olympic Vista seniors housing, that has operated successfully in Saanich for three years.

Cottage Grove is “shovel ready”. The Society has purchased the $1 million property, site architectural and landscaping plans are complete, and the development permit has been approved by Saanich. These apartments will be built quickly when the Province invests $4.8 million towards this $6.6 million building project.

“With the help of many generous donors, Cool Aid has purchased this $1 million property so that Cottage Grove can house 45 seniors who have been homeless,” said Cool Aid’s executive director Kathy Stinson. “It is a good start on ending homelessness for seniors in our community and it’s the first of several apartment buildings we will construct towards this end.”

Our campaign is called ‘Help End Homelessness’,” said Rob Reid, Campaign Chair and owner of Frontrunners and New Balance, “and we have assembled an amazing team of community leaders who are volunteering their time to raise $5 million from individuals, companies, organizations and foundations to build or repurpose 360 apartments to Help End Homelessness for 360 people.”

 The volunteer Campaign Cabinet members are:

  • Bradley Clark (Chair, Cool Aid; Financial Advisor, Raymond James)
  • Norman Gidney (Director, Cool Aid; retired business journalist)
  • Helen Hughes (Retired City of Victoria Councillor)
  • Ted Hughes, Q.C. (Consultant, Retired Judge,
    former Co-Chair, G.V. Coalition to End Homelessness)
  • Tony Joe (Realtor, Re/Max Camosun,
    former Co-Chair, G.V. Coalition to End Homelessness)
  • Rob Reid, Campaign Chair (Owner, Frontrunners and New Balance)
  • Kathy Stinson (Executive Director, Cool Aid)

The Advisor Council for the campaign includes: Chief Frank Elsner, VicPD; Maureen Duncan, Retired CEO, United Way of Greater Victoria; and Sandy Richardson, CEO Victoria Foundation. Letters of support for the campaign have been received from Chief Frank Elsner, Downtown Residents Association, Downtown Victoria Business Association and the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce.

The Victoria Cool Aid Society builds homes, lives and community. We create opportunities for people who are homeless or living in poverty. We make a difference through housing, health care, support and emergency shelters. Cool Aid currently operates 374 apartments for people who have been homeless, in ten buildings in Langford, Victoria and Saanich – including three buildings dedicated to seniors. Founded in 1968, Cool Aid helps over 9,000 people in the Capital Region every year. The Society’s major new campaign is “Help End Homelessness”, to build an additional 360 apartments for people in the community who have no home.


Alan Rycroft, 250-414-4781 or

You are registered for Transformations

TC 10k 2014Thank you for reserving your tickets for Transformations!

You will receive an email confirmation of the number of tickets purchased as well as your billing information. If you do not receive confirmation within 24 hours, or if you would like more information about this event or the program it supports, please contact Christopher Geater at or 250-414-4799.

Thank you so much for supporting Every Step Counts! We look forward to greeting you at the event.

Transformations Registration


On October 1st Adam Kreek, Bruce Courtnall, Jeff King, and Lucy Smith joined us for an inspiring evening to support Every Step Counts, the walking and running program for people facing challenges with poverty, addiction, mental health and social isolation in their lives.

We raised over $4,000 in donations alone – please check back here soon for a final amount raised through donations, admission, shoe sales, and silent auction purchases.

Thank you for attending!

Wednesday, October 1, 6 to 9pm at The Atrium: 800 Yates Street, Victoria B.C.

Tickets: $70


Thank you for joining us in honouring Dr. Joe Haegert

Dr Joe enjoying a moment of solitude in his kayakThank you for reserving your tickets to Dr. Joe Haegert’s retirement Celebration on November 1st at the Royal B.C. Museum. We are so glad to have you with us as we celebrate Dr. Joe’s achievements and usher him towards a well-deserved and relaxing new phase of life.

You will receive a confirmation email shortly. If you do not receive confirmation within 24 hours, or if you would like more details about this event or Dr. Joe Haegert’s work with Cool Aid, please contact Alan Rycroft at or 250-414-4781.

Thank you for helping us honour the lifetime achievements of Dr. Haegert. We look forward to seeing you there!

Dr. Joe Haegert Celebration – Online Registration

Dr. Joe Haegert Retirement Celebration

P3060007-webWe are sad to see Dr. Joe Haegert retiring from our Community Health Centre – where he has worked for 44 years, starting as the first physician. At the same time, we’re delighted for the excuse to honour his lifetime of service. Please join us in the beautiful First People’s Gallery at the Royal BC Museum on Saturday, November 1.

Dr. Haegert’s practice originally grew out of a need for appropriate and professional medical care for people living in communes, the transient population and travelling students. Like Cool Aid itself, over the years, Dr. Haegert’s patient group evolved due to changes in the economy, an increase in mental illness, a rise in alcohol and substance use and an ageing population.

Today, the Cool Aid Community Health Centre at 713 Johnson Street provides a wide variety of health services to over 4,000 patients, many of whom are homeless. Over the years, other professionals have joined Dr. Joe in this work, including physicians, nurses, counsellors, pharmacists, dentists, dental hygienists, medical office assistants, an acupuncturist, nutritionist and other visiting specialists. We’ve come a long way since those early years!

We would be delighted to have you join us to honour Dr. Joe and share stories of his life and service.

Where: Royal British Columbia Museum – First People’s Gallery
When: Saturday, November 1 @ 6 to 10:00 pm – Dr. Joe speaks at 7
Cost: $100 includes drinks, Truffles Catering and a small tax receipt

Click here to Purchase tickets

The Victoria Cool Aid Society would also like to honour Dr. Joe’s lifetime of achievement by naming a new apartment building after him, which will end homelessness for dozens of Victorians, for generations to come.

All proceeds from this event will help Cool Aid build an apartment building named after Dr. Joe, for people without homes. Cool Aid needs to raise $1 million in total to attract sufficient government funds to build the new Dr. Joe Haegert Apartments. The Cool Aid family (our staff and directors) have already pledged the first $100,000. Another $211,000 has come in from other donations.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, November 1, when together we will honour Dr. Joe’s lifetime of service. Whether or not you can attend, we hope you will also consider a donation towards the Dr. Joe Haegert Apartments.