Thanks to a grant from the Queen Alexandra Foundation, the Threshold Housing Society will be running an innovative in-house program for residents who reside in our houses. Through various mediums, the program will teach basic skills to reach self-sufficiency. The idea of self-sufficiency is based on the need for self-care and self-love, that is, to ensure that each resident has the self-esteem necessary to seek out decent accommodation, good clothing, nutritious food, the means to keep clean, and the has ability to plan for the future. Such are the building blocks for moving youth from transitional housing to independent housing. The program will be facilitated by Peggy English of Unstuck Coaching who has agreed to assist us in this pilot project.
Threshold Housing Society would like to acknowledge the very kind donation of some 75 books from Orca Book Publishers that will be placed in each of our houses. Over the years, Orca publications have been a “best seller” to many youths, especially the “Sounding” series which often go missing as youths leave and move on. But we don’t care! It is wonderful to find a book you love to read and wish to pass it on for others to read as well. What makes this series so popular are the compelling plots, authentic dialogue, easily recognizable characters, and the fact that authors aren’t afraid to use controversial language. It has been wonderful to watch youths take up reading again once they have a stable housing situation with a warm room and safe environment. Thanks Orca!
On March 15th, 2011, The Belfry Theatre sponsored the staging of “The Middle Place,” a play that aptly depicts the life of youths staying in a youth shelter. Using a process called “verbatim theatre,” the play used the voices of real youths staying in a youth shelter to express the pain and trauma of such a situation on their lives. The play was an initiative of Project Humanity and has toured in Toronto, Ottawa, Victoria and Calgary. The play’s major purpose was to bring to light the blight of over 65,000 homeless Canadian youth. The proceeds of the March 15th evening were donated to the Threshold Housing Society. The Society expresses its gratitude to the Belfry Theatre, Project Humanity and the wonderful cast of actors who performed this important play.
Youth Homelessness is a Canadian issue. Spearheaded by the Virgin Group founder, Sir Richard Branson, and Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett, there is a concerted effort to have November 17th acclaimed Youth Homelessness Awareness in Canada. Currently there is an estimated 65,000 homeless youth in the country. Last year a survey of 1000 Canadians was conducted by the charitable arm of the Virgin Group to specifically investigate people’s understanding about the issue. The survey showed that 87 per cent of the respondents didn’t have an understanding of the scope of the problem. To learn more, please watch the following:
The Threshold Housing Society held a fundraising event in conjunction with Langham Court Theatre on March 3, 2011. A reception with a silent auction was held prior to the opening night of a play entitled “The Lady in the Van,” by Allen Bennett. The play is centered on the true story of the relationship between the author and a homeless woman who camped in the author’s garden for fifteen years. The performance was superb with a wonderful cast that captured with heart the author’s complex message about homelessness and our response as a society to this difficult problem. Special thanks to the Theatre Manager, Denise Brown, whose professional and courteous assistance made this an enjoyable evening for everyone.
February 22, 2011 marks the first year anniversary of Mitchell House’s new location in the Oak Bay vicinity. The new location and house is fabulous. The floor plan is spacious and the kitchen area central. The House Mentor, Graham Kelly, celebrated the anniversary with a house meeting and a big cake. The anniversary coincides with the arrival of two new residents. Rick Sandberg is the Weekend Mentor at Mitchell House and also our Webmaster. Congratulations Graham and Rick.
Many thanks to the volunteers from London Drugs who donated their time and muscle to dig up the sod and stake out a garden at Holly House. The vision is to have a sustaining vegetable garden in the sunny backyard of the house supplying the residents with fresh greens. On hand to help from Threshold were Roger Plant (left) and Rebekah Humphrey (second from left). Many thanks to Lilaine Galway, Community Impact Associate for the United Way who organized and assisted in having the awesome volunteers from London Drug pitch in and assist at-risk youth.
On February 12, The Threshold Housing Society was invited to participate in the annual Volunteer Fair sponsored by Hillside Mall. Mr. Bob Porter, Treasurer, and Mrs. Kyra Henry, the Administrative Assistant, were on hand to inform and educate shoppers and the public about the work of the society in the community.
The Society is currently enlisting volunteers for its Mardi Gras event to be held in 2012. If you are interested in volunteering for either the planning committee or working committee, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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.