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Another Idea About Where to Donate Your $100 Bribe
by Pacifica Housing
(As printed in "Victoria Street Newz", August 08, 2008 - Volume 5, #5)
Why sign over your $100 Climate Action Dividend cheque to Pacifica Housing's "Clover Place"? It's more than just helping those less fortunate, it makes good economic sense!
Homelessness comes at a cost to society, Currently there are an estimated 1,240 homeless or near homeless residents in Victoria costing taxpayers more than $50,000 each in support services, 33 per cent higher than the cost of housing and supporting these individuals.
Where is this additional money going? The Victoria Mayor's task force on the homeless reports that "over 20 funding agencies already spend and estimated $76 million annually on housing, mental health and addiction services. By not addressing the needs of the homeless population in Greater Victoria, we are spending at least $62 million in other services, such as policing, prisons, hospital services, emergency shelter, clean up, etc."
For example, the Victoria Police Department has identified a group of 324 homeless residents who were responsible for 23,033 police encounters over a period of 40 months, at a cost of $9.2 million to the City of Victoria.
Who are these people? Many have fallen on hard times, and many are ill, both need help to re-enter society. 1 in 5 Canadians will suffer from mental illness in their lives. Every Canadian will be touched directly or indirectly, and in the homeless population, mental illness and substance abuse are over-represented; 66 per cent of all homeless residents admitted to hospital by Vancouver Island Health Authority have a mental health or substance use related condition.
How your donation can help... every $100 is a step closer to making Clover Place a reality.
Pacifica Housing is an established non-profit society that currently manages 560 units of housing for families and individuals in Victoria and Nanaimo, and provides outreach and support services to the "hard to house" and homeless.
Pacifica Housing is about "housing with a heart" and believes in the combination of two philosophical approaches to housing the homeless:
Housing First- every citizen deserves a home off the streets; and
Peer Support- a client-centered approach of meaningful supports to improve the quality of life for the client, and to move toward a more productive existence.
Experience has shown that these two approaches, in combination, can break the cycle of homelessness.
Pacifica is already seeing just how successful this combination can be with the Medewiwin Apartments, established in 2002 and already the recipient of a CMHC Best Practices Award.
The proposed Clover Place at 3291 Douglas Street will continue this model to provide 18 supported housing units for the chronically homeless and homeless-at-risk target populations. Grants have already been secured from a variety of funding agencies, partnerships and foundations to fund the acquisition and major capital costs, but additional support is needed to finish the individual units. We need your $100 to make our fundraising goal of $200,000.
For further information please phone 250-385-2131 or visit Pacifica's website at www.pacificahousing.ca, or simply endorse your cheque and mark it "For Deposit Only to Pacifica Housing" and drop it off or mail it to-
827 Fisgard St.
Charitable tax receipts will be issued for all donations.