Posts By: Assist

Homelessness among youth in West Shore spurs community leaders to action

The following article appeared in the Times Colonist, Friday, March 9, 2012, written by Derek Spalding

The increasing number of homeless youth in the West Shore has sounded alarm bells for some community leaders looking to eradicate the problem before it gets worse.  On Monday, Langford council became the first municipality in the West Shore to endorse a housing report that identifies an immediate need to create a support network for homeless youth.

At least six to eight shelter beds, plus transition houses, are needed for youth from Langford, View Royal, Metchosin, Highlands and Colwood, according to the WestShore Youth Housing Study, produced by Elliott Urban Planning.  The problem remains mostly hidden from the public because homeless and at-risk youth carry on with their schooling or jobs without telling anyone, said Bill McElroy, chairman of the Pacific Centre Family Services Association, which provides early-intervention programs for youth between five and 18.

Rebekah Humphrey and Graham Kelly are mentors with the Threshold Housing Society. Concerns have been raised over the increasing number of homeles and at-risk youth in the West Shore. Photograph by: Bruce Stotesbury , timescolonist.com (March 2012)

Youth Summit In Victoria 2012

Belonging: A Victoria Youth Homelessness Summit is a community based, volunteer driven initiative aimed at promoting a vibrant, inclusive and healthy Victoria by addressing one of the most pressing local public health issues: youth homelessness. The Summit will not only educate participants but help to empower community members while distilling sustainable community based solutions on youth homelessness. Read more at belongingvictoria.com . More details will be forthcoming.

Youth Homelessness Summit: The 2 day Summit will be held downtown at Victoria’s historic Odd Fellows hall on Saturday April 21-Sunday the 22nd, with a social meet & greet Friday the 20th 7-10pm.

Fundraiser: In aid of the Youth Summit, there will a “Roaring 20’s Gala Fundraiser and Silent Auction.”  This event will take place at the Victoria Odd Fellows hall, Saturday March 3rd. The Gala Event will feature live music, dancing, gourmet hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, billiards as well as a silent auction. Twenties era costumes and outfits are encouraged at the Gala Event and an elegant décor will set the mood. There will also be an information booth where Gala attendees can learn more about Belonging as well as register to attend the Summit. There are only 90 tickets available, so contact the organizers fast at:  BelongingVictoria@gmail.com

THANK YOU COMMUNITY!

Threshold wishes to thank the many organizations and individuals that made donations in order to give residents a Santa surprise. Special thanks to the teachers and staff of Island Catholic Schools, the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, Vancity Bank, and Unilever Canada (Heather Oliver).  Many thanks to the Anglican Tri-Ministries of St. Davids, St. Michael’s and St. Peter’s, The  Red Barn, Root Cellar, Fairways on Quadra and the Market on Yates for assisting in putting on a wonderful dinner for the residents and Board members.  Thank you to everyone whose spirit of generosity gave off a special light to those in need.

May 2012 be filled with Promise and Hope beyond your wildest imagination.

Blast from the Past – Tim Benetti

During the 2011 GoodLife Royal Victoria Marathon (see post below), Threshold had the honour of meeting up with an old friend, Tim Benetti. Tim was the Mitchell House Supervisor from 1994 to 2001.

Tim Benetti 2011

In a 1998 Threshold newsletter, Tim was introduced by the words: “It takes very special people to work in Mitchell House or Holly House. It’s a job that defies description but demands caring, patience and compassion.” Tim has all of these qualities. For seven years, Tim shepherded as many as 20 to 25 young men through Mitchell House, some suffering from clinical depression to schizophrenia and low self-confidence.

Former Mitchell House 1992-2010

Support Local “Pennies for Presents” Campaign

This Christmas season, Threshold is honoured to be among the five local non-profit organizations participating in the “Pennies for Presents” campaign sponsored by Black Press.

For the past fifteen years, the Black Press’ annual Pennies for Presents fundraiser has helped raise money for numerous agencies who work with vulnerable populations in our community.

Throughout the city, many businesses will be accepting donations of loose change that eventually adds up. For more details, look in the current editions of Victoria News, Saanich News, Oak Bay News and Goldstream News Gazette. The campaign will run from November 4th through to Christmas.

Support Local "Pennies for Presents" Campaign

This Christmas season, Threshold is honoured to be among the five local non-profit organizations participating in the “Pennies for Presents” campaign sponsored by Black Press.

For the past fifteen years, the Black Press’ annual Pennies for Presents fundraiser has helped raise money for numerous agencies who work with vulnerable populations in our community.

Throughout the city, many businesses will be accepting donations of loose change that eventually adds up. For more details, look in the current editions of Victoria News, Saanich News, Oak Bay News and Goldstream News Gazette. The campaign will run from November 4th through to Christmas.

“Running Home For Youth” Team Wins for Threshold

Under generally sunny skies, The Threshold Housing Society participated in the Charity Pledge Program with the Goodlife Fitness Royal Victoria Marathon on October 9th. The marathon this year saw over 12,000 people run various lengths of the course.

In that mix were several runners who ran with pledges to help Threshold give homes to at-risk youth. Many thanks to Janice MacKinnon (Vancouver), Kerri-Lynn Wilson (Nanaimo), Angie Messereey (Red Deer, Alberta) Mike Woodcock (Victoria), and Kayla Feragen (Victoria) for running like the wind and helping to secure pledges.

Great Run! Kerri-Lynn Wilson
Mike Woodcock and Threshold Marathon Organizer Kyra Henry

Threshold had a booth located on Government Street. It was manned by Board members Richard Couch, Bob Porter, Dan Fraikin and Glen Tadsen. Special thanks to Kyra Henry for doing much of the liaison work with the organizers and supporting the “Running Home for Youth” team. Threshold wishes to acknowledge the generous donation made by Dorrian Porter of California.

Valentine's Day graduation

Valentine's cupcakes were part of graduation celebration. (Photo by Peggy English)

Valentine’s Day (actually February 10, 2011) was the perfect occasion to have a party and to say good-bye to one of our residents who has been residing in Mitchell House for just under a year.  Having worked hard to complete his school diploma, our resident found a good job and felt ready to live independently.  Congratulations and best wishes!

Flanked by Rebekah Humphrey, House Mentor for Holly House, and Graham Kelly, House Mentor for Mitchell House, our resident holds a quilt that each resident receives upon leaving. Each quilt is a work of beauty, hand stitched with love, and a reminder that care and compassion comes from many directions to help each of us along the away. The quilt is also a symbol of sanctuary, that we each need a warm house, apartment, room, or cosy corner to call our own, where we can feel safe, regenerate our energies and dream our dreams for the future.