With your help, the Victoria Cool Aid Society and Coalition to End Homelessness’ mission is to end homelessness. With your support, Cool Aid must raise $5 million to fund the cost of building or subsidizing an additional 360 homes for people who have been homeless. We are asking that you stand along side us and help build homes, lives and community.

There are many ways you can make a difference in helping to end homelessness:

  • Become a champion. Spread the word that there is a solution to ending homelessness
  • Make a personal or corporate one-time or pledged donation to help build homes
  • Leave a Legacy through a bequest in your will
  • Provide in-kind services and/or products
  • Donate gently used clothing and housewares
  • Hold a fundraiser to raise money
  • Contact your elected representatives and let them know that ending homelessness is a priority
  • Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and other social media tools
  • Learn more about ending homelessness. Sign-up to receive our monthly email newsletter.
  • Invite Cool Aid to make a presentation to your organization
  • Give a gift today to build homes, lives and community.

With Your Help We Will End Homelessness in Greater Victoria

Cool Aid invites you to seize the opportunity to help end homelessness and re-build the lives of over 360 of our community’s most vulnerable people.

Cool Aid will create new supportive housing to put a roof over the heads of 360 people who presently live in third world conditions right here in the capital region. No one knows for sure how many people are homeless in Greater Victoria, but during a single-night survey that was conducted on February 8, 2012, 1,205 people sought temporary shelter from the street.

The partners who make up the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness plan to create housing for about 1,000 men and women who are without permanent homes: 750 in modest, new apartments with support on site, and by providing rent subsidies for an additional 165 people who will move into private-market rental housing.

Cool Aid’s commitment is to build or repurpose housing to provide apartments and supports for over 360 men and women, including seniors.

By building new housing for people who are currently homeless we will save lives, contribute to better physical and mental health, and significantly improve life expectancy. As well, we will improve access to health services and policing for the entire community by reducing the current burdens on these systems. The ultimate goal of providing supportive housing for those who need is to remove the devastating physical, financial and emotional effects of homelessness and poverty from the daily lives of our most vulnerable citizens.

Poverty, disability, gender and age are factors contributing to a high risk of homelessness. For example, some senior men and women who are homeless have a history of mental health challenges and alcohol or substance abuse, and some have a legacy from the residential school system. Also, the majority of women seniors who are homeless have very specific health or social needs relating to their personal histories of violence and abuse. Some of Cool Aid’s new housing will be dedicated to seniors who are among the most vulnerable and needy in Greater Victoria, particularly those whose physical and mental health disabilities affect the quality of their lives and their ability to function independently.

In addition to the positive impact on the lives of those directly affected, housing the homeless makes sound economic sense. According to a 2008 study[3] by Simon Fraser University, it conservatively costs an average of $55,000 each year in health and other emergency services such as policing, the court system, lost and destroyed property, and other public costs to let one person challenged with mental health and addictions to remain homeless. Yet the cost to offer someone a place to call home, with the supports necessary to help that person maintain his or her home, is $37,000. By creating appropriate housing and supports for people who are homeless, governments can save $18,000 per person, per year!

Homelessness_table
Our community can potentially save costs of over $6.5 million each year by providing 360 new apartments – while at the same time helping improve people’s lives, our region’s quality of life, and making emergency hospital, police and related services more accessible for everyone.

You can learn more by reading our housing development plan today.

 


[1]What is meant by “ending homelessness” is that anyone who loses their housing will be found a suitable apartment and necessary supports within a few weeks. Currently, people can be homeless for years because there is insufficient affordable housing in the local market.

[2] Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind: The Plight of Seniors and Homelessness, a 2003 report on homelessness and the risk of homelessness among seniors and vulnerable adults In the Lower Mainland of British Columbia by the Seniors Housing Information Program (SHIP)

[3] Housing and Support for Adults with Severe Addictions and/or Mental Illness in British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, February 2008, p. 11