Sisters of St. Ann Donate $450,000 To Affordable Housing

Victoria – On the day that marks their 160th Anniversary of service in Victoria, the Sisters of St. Ann and Cool Aid (whose 50th Anniversary is on June 10), are pleased to make a significant partnership announcement about the proposed redevelopment of 210 Gorge Road East (Cedar Grove).

“During the last 50 years, the Sisters of St. Ann have worked with Cool Aid on many social services and initiatives for the most marginalized members of our community,” said Sister Joyce Harris, Province Co-Leader. “Today, we are announcing the expansion of our work together, with a major gift to help build more affordable and supportive housing in Victoria.”

“The incredible generosity of the Sisters of St. Ann will invigorate our whole organization and inspire others,” said Cool Aid CEO Kathy Stinson. “In the midst of this housing crisis, we all need to work together to ensure that everyone is safely housed and supported in homes they can afford.”

The transformative $450,000 contribution has helped leverage government funds towards the redevelopment project, which will allow for the housing of an additional 71 people on the underutilized site, with the addition of 50 units of affordable housing and 11 more units of supportive housing. The proposal goes to Victoria Council in the fall for a rezoning hearing.

All tenants will be offered alternative housing options during the redevelopment and all will be offered a new apartment in the new building, at the same low rent, after construction is complete. Tenants at the new 210 Gorge Road East will be a mix of people with low incomes such as seniors, students, single-parent families and minimum wage workers, along with others who have been homeless.

This gift is the largest ever received in Cool Aid’s 50-year history, which began on June 10, 1968.

Additional funding for the redevelopment of Cedar Grove includes a $5 million capital investment from the Regional Housing First Program, a partnership between the Province, the Capital Regional District (CRD) and CMHC; and a Regional Housing Trust Fund grant of $600,000 grant. Island Health is also a partner in the program by committing to providing health supports to tenants, where required.

– END –


Sister Joyce Harris, Province Co-Leader, Sisters of St. Ann, 250-592-3088,

Kathy Stinson, CEO, 250-414-4792,

The Sisters of Saint Ann have served in the Pacific Northwest for 160 years, providing quality education and health care, regardless of ability to pay. Founded to educate children in rural areas, especially those excluded from education and whose parents suffered from exploitation, The Sisters of Saint Ann chose to educate children so that they could become agents of their own lives as adults and challenge the oppressive forces affecting their lives. They believed that each person has the dignity of a child of God and deserves to have the opportunity to develop to her/his full potential. These same motivations impel the Sisters of Saint Ann today to provide resources to help individuals to attain the fullness of life and foster communities that support the dignity of all persons. They are especially concerned for women, children and youth and those who experience economic and social exclusion.

Homelessness and poverty are issues that touch many of us and impact more lives than you may realize. As the largest provider of services to the homeless and those at-risk of homelessness in Greater Victoria, the Victoria Cool Aid Society is a key player in the work to end homelessness. Cool Aid advocates for and provides emergency shelter, supportive housing, integrated healthcare and other support services to the most marginalized and vulnerable individuals in the Capital Regional District. Each year, Cool Aid serves over 12,000 adults and seniors facing multiple challenges of poverty, unemployment, mental health and substance use, chronic health issues, brain injury and aging. Cool Aid was founded on June 10, 1968 and is celebrating 50 years of community service in 2018.