Victoria, BC — Clint and Carole Forster have honoured Threshold Housing Society with a $3.1 million gift that will transform Threshold Housing‘s ability to support youth-at-risk of homelessness. The gift, totaling $3.1 million dollars, has allowed Threshold to pay the mortgage on their Supportive Recovery Program property in Victoria and will allow them to complete the purchase of Threshold House in Oak Bay.
Facilitated by the Victoria Foundation and RBC Phillips Hager & North Investment Counsel, the two-phase gift will have an immediate and lasting effect on Threshold Housing’s ability to provide home, counselling, support services, and harm-reduction recovery services for youth. Threshold Housing Executive Director Colin Tessier said of the gift, “some organizations will go their entire life cycle without receiving this kind of boost. We feel it through the entire team as it opens new opportunities to expand services and programs as we create safe homes and brighter futures.”
Asked about the gift, Carole Forster shared their family philosophy of giving in an area that is personally important to them, such as preventing youth homelessness and supporting recovery from problematic substance use. Clint Forster says, “giving to people in need has always been important in our family, through volunteering as well as through financial gifts. Our Investment Counsellor understands that and has helped us connect with the Victoria Foundation, who has the pulse of local community needs.”
The initial $1.6 million transfer allowed Threshold to pay off the mortgage on their 8-bed home in James Bay that houses the Supportive Recovery Program. The program supports youth who are battling substance use issues, often linking them to longer-term housing within Threshold’s offerings or with community partners. This is the only youth recovery program on Vancouver Island that incorporates a harm reduction approach.
An additional gift of $1.5 million will support Threshold in purchasing Threshold House, a home for eight youth in a purpose-built house Threshold currently leases from the Oak Bay United Church. Following subdivision of the property and re-zoning of the house, this purchase will ensure that Threshold has a permanent home for youth, offering the stability that has too often been lacking in their lives.
“The Victoria Foundation is inspired by the commitment and care the Forsters have for the community”, says Sandra Richardson, CEO of the Victoria Foundation. “The Foundation supports the community by connecting people who care with causes that matter. We are inspired when individuals like the Forsters embrace causes they are passionate about and support organizations like Threshold Housing.”
“It has been an honour to help Clint and Carole facilitate this impactful gift to Threshold Housing Society after years of extensive planning and discussions,” said Cody McMullin, Investment Counsellor, RBC Phillips Hager & North Investment Counsel. “It was important to Clint and Carole to do something memorable and impactful as part of their legacy. As a steward of capital for their foundation, I worked closely with the Forster’s to ensure they were well-informed and comfortable with the decisions made throughout the process. It was a pleasure to have had the opportunity to help them realize their philanthropic goals and witness the enjoyment it brought seeing the significant impact their legacy can have on the community.”
Transformational gifts change the way an organization serves the community for generations. Threshold Housing plans to leverage this gift into increased housing units and types, and to broaden support services as it continues to respond to the needs of at-risk youth in Greater Victoria.
About Threshold Housing Society
Threshold Housing Society works to prevent adult homelessness by providing safe housing, support services, and community to at-risk youth, aged 15-24 years old. Threshold serves at-risk youth experiencing homelessness, aging out of care, or fleeing violence in the home. Threshold is young adults who need a place to call home and people who believe in them creating safe homes and brighter futures.
About the Victoria Foundation
Established in 1936, the Victoria Foundation is Canada’s second-oldest community foundation and the sixth-largest of nearly 200 nationwide. The Victoria Foundation manages charitable gifts from donors whose generosity allows them to create permanent, income-earning funds. The proceeds from these funds are then distributed as grants for charitable or educational purposes. To date, the Victoria Foundation has invested over $287 million in people, projects and non-profit organizations that strengthen communities in BC and throughout Canada.