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Streetohome Foundation Receives $100,000 from Pacific Blue Cross for Supportive Housing for Homeless People with Mental Illness and Addictions

Streetohome Foundation Receives $100,000 from Pacific Blue Cross for Supportive Housing for Homeless People with Mental Illness and Addictions

October 10, 2012, Vancouver – Today Streetohome Foundation is pleased to announce a $100,000 contribution from Pacific Blue Cross’ Community Connection Health Foundation in support of its capital campaign to break the cycle of homelessness in Vancouver. This generous donation will support the development of 147 supportive housing units located at 215 West 2nd Avenue in Vancouver. The building, developed in partnership between Streetohome Foundation, the Province of B.C., and the City of Vancouver, will support individuals who are dealing with mental health and addictions issues, and also people who have been chronically homeless.

“Home is more than just four walls and a roof, and that is why we are so proud to be involved with a project that provides individuals who have mental health and addictions issues with support at various levels of care and recovery,” said Ken Martin, CEO, Pacific Blue Cross.

Streetohome Foundation is committed to working with non-profit, business, community, and government partners to find new approaches to preventing and alleviating homelessness in Vancouver.

“Individuals who are chronically homeless can face the greatest barriers to housing,” said Lloyd Craig, Streetohome Board Member. “Streetohome is dedicated to investing in permanent supportive housing developments that provide chronically homeless people living with mental illness and addictions with the support they need to maintain their housing, have a more fulfilling life, and expand their goals.”

The building will be managed by Katherine Sanford Housing Society and operated by RainCity Housing and Support Society. Individuals living in the supportive housing development will be able to access community medical and addictions support services, peer support programs that include recreational activities, and skill-building workshops to help build relationships with other tenants and maintain their tenancy.

“People who have been living on the streets will be provided with a safe, supportive environment, an opportunity to step away from the daily issues of living on the street, and the support they need as they move forward in their lives," said Leslie Remund, Acting Executive Director at RainCity Housing and Support Society.

“Making sure that a building is operating successfully is more important for people who have been chronically homeless, who may have difficulty staying housed, and who need supports,” said Bonnie Rice, Executive Director of Katherine Sanford Housing Society. “We will be working together in partnership with RainCity Housing to build a sense of community at the project. Having a home is more than just living under a roof; it is being a part of a community. And a community is better when we can make it a safer, cleaner, and more livable environment for everyone to enjoy.”

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About Pacific Blue Cross:
Pacific Blue Cross has been British Columbia's leading benefits provider for over 70 years. Our comprehensive understanding of health care needs fuels our commitment to service. Together with BC Life, our subsidiary, we provide health, dental, life, disability and travel coverage for approximately 1.5 million British Columbians through employee group plans and through individual plans for those who do not have coverage with their employer. Pacific Blue Cross and BC Life continue to respond to customers' needs in plan design, administration and technology. For more information, please visit: www.pac.bluecross.ca/corp/.

About Streetohome Foundation:
Streetohome is dedicated to ensuring that residents of Vancouver 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.

About RainCity Housing and Support Society:
RainCity Housing and Support Society is a grassroots organization built around compassion, purpose and a commitment to delivering progressive housing and support solutions for people living with mental illness, addictions and other challenges. Since 1982, RainCity Housing has provided shelter and housing for thousands of people in the Lower Mainland. RainCity Housing is an independent, non-political, non-religious, charitable organization based in the Lower Mainland. For more information, please visit: www.raincityhousing.org.

About Katherine Sanford Housing Society:
Established in 1989, Katherine Sanford Housing Society is a registered charitable organization. The society’s role is to develop innovative, efficient, and cost-effective housing for people living with mental illness or addictions . Katherine Sanford Housing Society specializes in housing development and property management, partnering with other non- profits and various independents with expertise in provision of support services. The Society has developed 20 supportive housing projects in typical residential neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Richmond. For more information, visit www.kshs.ca/.

Media contacts:
Christina Panagio
Streetohome Foundation
604‐629‐2711
christinap@streetohome.org

Julia Kaisla
Pacific Blue Cross BC Life
604 419-2016
jkaisla@pac.bluecross.ca