Fund to Prevent Homelessness Grows

NEWS RELEASE – For Immediate Release:

Fund to prevent homelessness grows

VICTORIA, BC, January 26, 2015 – The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness (Coalition) is pleased to announce that thanks to a generous donation of $110,000 from the Victoria Foundation the Homelessness Prevention Fund (HPF) able to continue operating through 2016.

“This is great news for our community,” says Andrew Wynn-Williams, Executive Director of the Coalition. “This program is a key to prevent homelessness in Greater Victoria. Although it runs entirely on private donations it has helped hundreds of people avoid homelessness since it began in January 2011. This donation will allow the fund to expand slightly and operate for another two years.”

“We were so pleased to be able to bring the right parties together and help facilitate the funding of such an important initiative in our community,” said Sandra Richardson, CEO of the Victoria Foundation. “Both ourselves and our donors appreciate the importance of keeping people housed, especially those most vulnerable in our society.”

About the Homelessness Prevention Fund

An initiative spear-headed by the Coalition and ten partner organizations, the Homelessness Prevention Fund provides emergency assistance grants to individuals and families who are in financial need and at risk of losing their housing. Recipients do not have to repay the grant, but can only receive funding once in a 12 month period. With the generosity of a private donor, the fund was established at the Victoria Foundation in 2011.

Since its inception in January of 2011, the HPF distributed more than $170,000 in grants, helping 247 individuals and 92 families. With a maximum grant of $500, most recipients (85%) used the funds for emergency rent top-up; the remaining used the grant for damage deposits or utilities.

The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness is a partnership of local service providers, non-profit organizations, all levels of government, and the business, post-secondary and faith communities. The Coalition’s vision is to end homelessness in Greater Victoria by 2018.

Established in 1936, the Victoria Foundation is Canada’s second oldest community foundation and the fifth largest of nearly 200 across the nation. It 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 it has invested more than $143 million in people, projects and non-profit organizations that strengthen communities in B.C. and throughout Canada.

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For more information:
Kelsi Stiles
Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness
o: 250-370-1506; c: 778-977-3494

Sandra Richardson, CEO
Victoria Foundation
o: 250-381-5532