Some of you may recognize Leonard James; he is an established public speaker within the Greater Victoria area, and partners with the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness. Leonard is a keynote speaker who shares his experiences in hopes that he can stop from others from making some of the mistakes he has made.
Mr. James first came to the dental clinic when he had abscessed teeth.
“My friend told me how harmful they were—and recommended I come here. I was hesitant as I don’t like dentists… but everyone here was so caring and gentle.”
Leonard not only had his abscesses taken care of, but he also now sports a set of brand new set of dentures that keep him smiling from ear to ear. To some a full smile may seem small, and is something many take for granted, but as Leonard pointed out during our interview, people don’t realize how important having a full set of teeth and an attractive smile can be for someone’s confidence-it can make a world of difference in one’s life.
Good teeth can also be an important factor in obtaining an apartment or work.
Leonard now has no shortage of confidence and as he tells us he has to remind himself: “Head up Leonard — show off that smile.”
Within the first few minutes of conversing with him, you instantly know that you can tell him anything and there will be no judgement, no criticism—only support and someone who is willing to listen. What makes Jerry so easy to talk to? Perhaps it comes from the openness in which he shares his own story.
Mr. McBride was kicked out a recovery house in 2010—and suddenly, as many Cool Aid clients will tell you— found himself homeless in an instant. That’s where Cool Aid stepped in. Jerry partnered with Larry Stevens at REES Support Services and started off with stays at Cool Aid’s Rock Bay Landing Shelter.
“It built up… I was homeless and I had to figure out how to get by. [Larry] would sit down and talk with me about solutions to combat my homelessness.”
From Rock Bay, Jerry continued to work with Larry and a client service worker named Veetus, who helped him to move onto a transitional shelter, and then finally an apartment at Swift House!
Jerry was able to able to increase his income, work on overcoming his addictions, and has gotten his life back.
“Today I am still at Swift House—I still meet with Larry Stevens because I can connect with him. Larry Stevens, Veetus, and the staff of Cool Aid, have been a huge part of my journey!”
Provincial employees learn about local charities at PECSF picnic
Provincial employees, through their Community Services Fund (PECSF), have been supporting Cool Aid and over 100 other local organizations, since 1965! For the past five years, the Provincial Employees Community Services Fund has stepped up to become one of the key partners of the Downtown Community Centre, which focuses on healthy living, health promotion and social diversity. The Community Centre provides free, healthy, recreation and life skill programs for adults and youth living and working in the downtown core with a special focus on helping people who are homeless, street involved and at-risk.
In November, following a nomination from Cool Aid, the Community Services Fund was awarded “Outstanding Philanthropic Service Club Award” by National Philanthropy Day. A well-deserved congratulations and thanks to the many caring public servants throughout Victoria and their dedicated staff!
In 2016, Dave Fracy was named a partner of Hatch & Muir LLP – having spent the previous five years as an associate financial advisor at Raymond James Limited.
Dave also has a broad skill-set in operations, processes and planning. His first career was in the golf industry where he spent 14 years at Callaway Golf Canada, most notably as Director of Operations.
Dave holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Victoria and recently attained the FPSC Level 1® Certification in Financial Planning.
For the last two years, Dave has been the organizing force behind Cool Aid’s Legacy Golf Tournament in a volunteer capacity.
Born and raised in Victoria, Dave is passionate about the city and improving community quality of life.