The State of Homelessness in Canada 2013 is out. Published by The Homeless Hub, this report examines what we know about homelessness, the historical, social and economic context in which it has emerged, demographic features of the problem, and potential solutions.
More Than A Roof Foundation is passionate about addressing and alleviating the root causes of poverty and homelessness which, often times, keep people struggling to survive rather than exploring their potential.
That is why they support the Next Step Financial Achievement Program that allows participants the opportunity to move beyond poverty. The program walks low income tenants through a series of financial literacy workshops while helping them build their savings toward a life goal.
Some examples of a life goal are:
- Continuing education
- Starting a business
- Tools or equipment to secure employment
Over the course of 12 months the Next Step Financial Achievement Program educates tenants about budgeting, saving and the problem with debt via mandatory workshops by a professional financial advisor. Participants make monthly deposits into a savings account that accumulates during the year. At graduation, they receive a cheque equal to the total of their deposits that they can use toward a life goal. But it doesn’t end there. All participants walk away with tools and knowledge to take make sense of their finances. Most continue to save when the program is complete and many offer mentoring and encouragement to new participants each year.
The funding cycle for The Next Step Financial Achievement Program is annual. More Than A Roof Foundation sponsors each participant up to a maximum amount monthly. With the generosity of donations from donors and supporting organizations this valuable financial education program can continue. 100% of the monies raised toward Next Step go to directly sponsor the participants. Please contact us if you would like to get involved or visit Canada Helps to directly sponsor a participant.
More Than A Roof Foundation in partnership with More Than A Roof Housing Society’s 18th Street Community Care Division made it possible to purchase Williams House, a group home for adults suffering with mental illness, helping ensure the future sustainability of mental health based supportive housing in Metro Vancouver.
Situated in North Vancouver, Williams House is home to five individuals with chronic or severe mental illness. With the aid of full time support staff each tenant is able to lead an active and meaningful life. Life skills training, community development and scheduling support allow these tenants to enjoy the benefits of community in a semi-independent living environment.
A recent report by Vancouver Coastal Health states that for those living in supported housing, emergency room visits go down by almost one third and days spent in hospital go down by over half during the first year living in a supported housing environment. It also gives the individuals living in supported housing the assistance they need to maintain their housing and reduce or eliminate their risk of homelessness. Tenants enjoy increased residential stability and independence, empowerment and reduction of mental health symptoms.
Karis Place is one of More Than A Roof Housing’s buildings for singles located in downtown Vancouver on the edge of Yaletown. Completed in 2011, it has a large commercial kitchen just off the main level common space. Currently used to host a number of major food events, More Than A Roof has a vision for so much more.
Funding from More Than A Roof Foundation will allow them to utilize the kitchen as a training facility. Tenants can engage in classes from the basics of cooking, which enables them to choose and prepare healthier food and menu options, to entry level instruction in culinary arts giving them some pre-employment training.
Once graduated, tenants can then get involved in the More Than A Roof Housing Community Kitchen Social Enterprise giving them the experience they need for their resumes and their futures. The additional funding also helps fuel the future sustainability of the program ensuring tenants from all More Than A Roof Communities and beyond can benefit for years to come.