Victoria Cool Aid Society has made significant progress on acquiring a property in the City of Victoria that is currently empty and which will house 101 people when fully renovated. Due diligence work has been completed which demonstrates the feasibility of the project. A formal announcement will be held at the new property: 1002 Vancouver Street, at 1 pm TODAY.
“We are very excited about this opportunity to help change the lives of 101 individuals experiencing chronic homelessness; men and women who cycle through our region’s, shelters, streets and parks,” said executive director Kathy Stinson. “This is a large property that will be very cost effective and make a dramatic and positive impact for the whole community.”
The new property will be called the “Dr. Joe Haegert Centre”, after a physician who retired last year after serving Cool Aid patients for 44 years. The “Housing First” philosophy under which Cool Aid operates is not housing only, and so the Society will be seeking ongoing support dollars to ensure that necessary health and other support services will be available on site for the tenants.
The Society currently has three properties in various stages of development that will have the capacity to house 185 people who are currently homeless – more than half of the society’s “Help End Homelessness” campaign target of housing 360 individuals in the Capital Region:
– Cottage Grove for 45 seniors is now fully funded. Construction will begin in the New Year.
-The Dr. Joe Haegert Centre will house 101 people in a well-suited heritage property.
o A re-development of Cool Aid’s existing Cedar Grove apartments will make room for 39 new tenants.
“Cool Aid will approach the City of Victoria, the CRD and the Province to fund the Dr. Joe Haegert Centre over the coming months,” said Kathy Stinson. “As well, we need to raise an additional $500,000 from private donations to complete the Dr. Joe Haegert Centre. What a great holiday gift it would be to raise that half million dollars by year’s end!” ($1.5 million has already been raised.)