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.

Information:

Alan Rycroft, 250-414-4781 or arycroft@CoolAid.org