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Streetohome Receives $1 Million from BMO Financial Group to Help Build Supportive Housing for People Living with HIV/AIDS

Streetohome Receives $1 Million from BMO Financial Group

VANCOUVER, November 28, 2011 – BMO Financial Group announced today that it is contributing $1 million towards Streetohome Foundation’s capital campaign to help end chronic homelessness in Vancouver by providing supportive housing.

The $1 million donation has been made to support The Howe Street development at 1249 Howe Street, which provides housing for people living with HIV/AIDS in partnership with the McLaren Housing Society.

“Streetohome Foundation has been an innovative force committed to finding new approaches to preventing and alleviating homelessness in Vancouver,” said Joanne Gassman, Senior Vice-President, BC & Yukon Division, BMO Bank of Montreal. “BMO’s gift today reflects our nationwide commitment to combat urban issues of poverty, youth unemployment and homelessness at the local level.”

“The combination of homelessness and HIV/AIDS can result in severe health concerns and expensive emergency services, making supportive housing a critical component for sustaining emotional and physical health,” said Dick Vollet, President of Streetohome Foundation. “Streetohome is pleased by the strong commitment BMO is making to help provide safe, clean housing for people at risk of homelessness and living with HIV/AIDS."

“The Howe Street development is a significant expansion and recognition of McLaren Housing Society’s ongoing work in providing safe and affordable housing and support services for individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS,” said Kim Stacey, Executive Director of McLaren Housing Society. “We are honoured to have been selected as a partner in this initiative and have the opportunity to create a community, offer support and improve the quality of life for people living with HIV.”

To date, Streetohome Foundation has raised more than 80 per cent of its capital campaign goal through the generosity of individuals, organizations, corporations and foundations. These funds will support a number of projects including:

  • Close to 1,000 housing units on eight sites donated by the City of Vancouver and developed by the Province of British Columbia
  • Up to 20 units of housing and support services for single mothers at YWCA Cause We Care House
  • 12 units of housing for young women at risk of homelessness at Atira’s Imouto House

Capital Campaign
Nearly 1,000 units are currently being funded through a partnership between Streetohome Foundation, the City of Vancouver through land, and the Province of BC. Streetohome Foundation’s $26.5 million fundraising campaign is underway to help build new homes.

The funds will be used to support:

  • Construction on eight approved sites to create about 1,000 new, permanent supported housing units
  • Each site will focus on different populations (i.e. families, youth and the chronically homeless) and additional capital funds and ongoing operational funding will be provided by the Province of British Columbia

About BMO Financial Group:
Since its founding in 1817 as Bank of Montreal – Canada’s first bank – BMO Financial Group has been committed to corporate and social responsibility and the principles of sustainable development. BMO has been serving customers in British Columbia for 124 years; the first Bank of Montreal branch in the province opened in Vancouver in 1887. BMO’s 3,000 B.C.-based employees serve customers in 118 branches located across the province. BMO also provides strong support to education, health and social services and arts & culture in B.C.
www.bmo.com

About Streetohome Foundation:
Streetohome is dedicated to ensuring that residents of our city have access to safe, decent, affordable housing and the support they need to make a difference in their lives. Streetohome is the first organization in Vancouver to take a systematic approach to addressing both homelessness and its root causes. Learn more at www.streetohome.org

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Media Contacts:
Laurie Grant, BMO Financial Group, 604-665-7596, laurie.grant@bmo.com
Lindsay Yuasa, Streetohome Foundation, 604-629-2711, lindsayy@streetohome.org