Adam Gant is a committed philanthropist

Tag: Victoria

Creating Communities with the Greater Victoria Housing Society

A young, single mother. A man who lost the use of his legs. A recovering drug addict. An old woman living on a fixed income. It may seem like these stories couldn’t be more different, but they actually all share a common thread: The characters are all real people from Victoria who faced serious challenges finding decent, affordable housing in the area. Fortunately, all of the stories also share a happy ending because each of the individuals were able to find a home thanks to the Greater Victoria Housing Society.

Founded in 1956, the Greater Victoria Housing Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the needy among us find high quality, safe, and affordable housing. Today, the society provides housing for over 1,000 people across the Victoria region in more than 700 units in 15 buildings. The Greater Victoria Housing Society offers two types of housing options: subsidized, which requires that applicants be on-file with the British Columbia Housing Registry, as well as non-subsidized housing. The organization also strives for best practices in energy efficiency and takes steps to ensure that their actions have the least possible negative effect on the environment.

Originally, in the 1950s, a group of concerned citizens saw a need for greater housing for the area’s seniors. They decided to address this problem by buying a house, and so, the Greater Victoria Housing Society was born. The society has evolved over the years to focus on more than just seniors and now provides housing services for low- to moderate-income families, the disabled, single parents, students, and others in need of a place to stay.

The Greater Victoria Housing Society does incredible work trying to provide housing for some of the neediest among us, and I’m proud to support the organization. I’ve made contributions to the society in the past, and in 2010, I also helped to facilitate the acquisition of a building for it–a 19-unit apartment building in Victoria on Quadra St.–that became the Greater Victoria Housing Society’s first “market to affordable” building, thus allowing the organization to expand its rental options.

For more information about the Greater Victoria Housing Society, visit its website!

Serving Hope with the Our Place Society

Winter is well on its way, and soon, everyone will spend their days inside with thermostats and fireplaces to keep them warm even when the snow starts falling. Anyone brave enough to stay outside will be clad in suits of armor consisting of scarves, hats, mittens, heavy coats, and layer after layer of clothes. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to have a safe place to go at night or good clothes to keep them warm in the dead of winter. Where do people who find themselves in this situation go during the cold winter months–or any other time of year, for that matter?

If they’re in Victoria, then they can go to Our Place. The Our Place Society is an inner-city community center that aims to provide relief and care for the working poor, impoverished, elderly, mentally and physically challenged, homeless, and anyone struggling with addiction. It was created in 2005 as the result of an alliance between two existing community organizations, the Upper Room Society and the Open Door, and construction on the purpose-built community center that Our Place now calls home was completed in 2007.

Today, Our Place offers a wide range of services to anyone in need. It serves over 1,500 meals a day, seven days a week; it has 45 private rooms available so people can have a safe place to sleep at night while they work toward independent living; it offers free showers and hygiene services; there are even mental, physical, and spiritual well-being options, veterinary services, educational resources, community activities like a choir, and so much more. These services offer more than just a warm meal or a bed–they offer hope to the people who need it most.

Volunteering with Our Place is a great way to help marginalized citizens of Victoria get back on their feet. It’s so rewarding to see firsthand how your work helps to elevate someone’s life, and Our Place gives you that opportunity. My own experience at Our Place involved helping to serve some of those 1500 meals a day at breakfast time. The experience showed how easy it was to help people who would normally go hungry. Working with Our Place illustrates that sometimes, the opportunity to make a big difference can be found very close to home.

For more information about Our Place, visit its website!

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