what’s new

3030 Gordon Almost April 2015 Update!

Here! We! Go! Dwayne and Bill continue going door to door and will be finishing up by the middle of April, spending most of that time in PoCo. More folks have signed up for either updates, to receive minutes from the CAC (Community Advisory Committee), or become a member of the CAC. We’re really happy that you’re showing your support and interest in the project this way. Makes us feel welcomed to the community – thank you!

Up, up, up!

The building is now at its full height and it should be completely roofed in by the end of April. Here are some recent pics:

It’s time to get official!

Next Wednesday, April 8 at 10:30am, all levels of government are coming together at 3030 Gordon Avenue in Coquitlam to recognize the amazing progress of the building, and also recognize the community and the political will that made it happen in the first place. It will be a short but sweet affair, with media to boot. And there’ll be doughnuts. Mmmmm – doughnuts!!!

Want to get more involved?

Even if Bill and Dwayne didn’t drop by for a visit with their info, you can still stay in touch by emailing Bill at bbriscall@raincityhousing.org and letting him know how you’d like to receive info or updates.

Look for the next update in May!





3030 Gordon Ave February 2015 Update!

Hello and welcome to our second 3030 Gordon Ave update. We’ve been busy. The building is a little bigger and the neighbours know us a little better.

Door to Door (to door, to door…)

Over the last three weeks our Communications Manager, Bill Briscall and Dwayne from Hope For Freedom (see the photo below – Bill is the one holding the “information“) have been going door to door providing information about the building, RainCity Housing, and ways to get more involved. So far they’ve been to over 140 households, 80 businesses, and have spoken with over 50 residents. They still have more to do, so be on the lookout for Dwayne and Bill’s smiling faces!

We’re getting emails from people wanting to receive updates and already have a few people that wish to be on the Community Advisory Committee (CAC). There’s more info about the CAC here.

Port Coquitlam Council

On Monday, Feb 23, Associate Director Sean Spear and Communications Manager Bill Briscall presented a delegation to Port Coquitlam’s Mayor and Council. It’s important to have the City of Port Coquitlam’s support, as while the 3030 Gordon is in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam is only a block away. Mayor Moore and Council raised some great points about working cohesively with groups like Hope For Freedom, and thanked us for the update.

Still lots of time to be a part of it!

You can sign up to receive updates on this project via email any time by emailing Bill Briscall at bbriscall@raincityhousing.org or you can let him know if you are thinking of becoming a member of the CAC.

Stay tuned for the next update!

3030 Gordon Avenue January 2015 Update!

We promised to provide updates to this project and here is the first! The construction is moving along quickly. After the ground clearing the pile driving began, and we’re very grateful that our future neighbours took the constant hammering during that step it in stride. Now the foundation is being formed and the building will soon began to take shape.

Presenting to Council

On Monday, January 12, our Associate Director overseeing this project, Sean Spear, presented a delegation to City of Coquitlam’s Mayor and Council in order to provide an update on the 3030 Gordon Avenue project. The Mayor stressed the importance of working cohesively with the established service providers in the Tri-Cities. We look forward to making new partnerships and have already enjoyed over two years as active members of the Tri-Cities Homelessness and Housing Task Group.

In the news!

You can read about the project and our delegation to Council at both the Tri-Cities News and the Tri-Cities Now. And look for more stories about this project in the Tri-Cities media in the coming months!

Reaching out…

We will be reaching out to the neighbouhood in the coming weeks to introduce ourselves, provide a little info, and find out if folks living near the project want to receive email updates on the project, or consider becoming members of the Community Advisory Committee, or CAC. This committee will be formed prior to the building opening its doors, and will be a forum RainCity and our neighbours to freely exchange information, celebrate successes, and discuss issues and concerns that may impact the neighbours, ultimately working towards constructive solutions.

Be a part of it!

If you wish to receive updates on this project via email, or are thinking of becoming a member of the CAC, please email Bill Briscall at bbriscall@raincityhousing.org and let him know what your interest is.

Stay tuned for the next update!


We are looking for board members!

Are you passionate about ending homelessness, someone who leaves your judgments at the door and wears your heart on your sleeve? Are you a crusader for humanity? Then you should seriously consider being on our Board!

A little bit about RainCity Housing

Our vision is simple yet challenging and layered: a home for every person. RainCity Housing provides innovative, specialized housing and support services for people living with mental illness, addictions and other challenges. By designing programs based on research, assessment, evaluation, and implementation of best practices, RainCity Housing is leading the way in developing solutions to end homelessness.

What our Board does

The role of the RainCity Housing’s Board of Directors is one of oversight and governance. Board officers are assigned responsibility for certain areas, but carries out its responsibilities with one voice. We ensure that our activities and decisions are in alignment with the values and philosophies of RainCity Housing.

Your opportunity

We are welcoming new Board members who care about people who occupy the margins of society, and have interest and background in the following areas:

  • Harm reduction philosophy and practices
  • Homelessness issues and ‘housing first’ approach
  • Mental health and addiction challenges
  • The approximate hours required from Board Members can be up to 4 hours per month with a term length of two years.

Help us affect change.

We like more than just qualifications. RainCity is rooted in passion and innovation. Tell us what being a member of our Board truly means to you. To find out what we’re looking for in an ideal board member, click here.

If you’re interested in joining our Board and using your talent and insights to help us achieve our vision of a home for every person, we invite you to submit a confidential CV to mng@raincityhousing.org.

Thank you for your interest!

Newsflash! How to learn about Housing First – and quick!

It’s all right here! Well, actually right here, where today we’ve officially launched our ‘Housing First: Principles to Practice’ toolkit, a workshop that explains in nuanced ways what the Housing First model is and how it works.

On that page you’ll find the five videos we created, each one explaining one of the five principles of Housing First and how to incorporate them into your work, teach them to others, or just have a better understanding of this successful approach to ending homelessness.

If you’re part of a nonprofit that provides housing or services to homeless folks, the Workbook and Facilitator’s Guide are absolutely free! Just email us and we’ll send you the password and links to the PDFs of the Workbook and Facilitator’s Guide so you can go through the workbook on your own, or put on the workshop for your coworkers.

And be sure to tell others about it.

And let us know what you think!


To house, or not to house – that is the question!

A simple question. With complex and heartfelt answers.

The video clip above and the pictures below are to give you just a taste of the original, honest and at times hilarious production of ‘Much Ado About Something!’ You have not seen anything else like this before and you only have until October 16 – two days! – to get tickets from Eventbrite. There may still be some at the door, so if you are unable to purchase tickets online, please bring cash to the theatre or better yet, call us at 604.375.9130 to make arrangements.

  • Where? Waterfront Theatre, 1412 Cartwright St, Granville Island
  • When? Thursday, Oct 16, 7pm sharp!
  • How much? $10!
  • Why? To stimulate dialogue and new understandings around issues of homelessness!

See you on Thursday – don’t be late!

Much Ado about SOMETHING!

Raising awareness about homelessness through community theatre

For Homelessness Action Week 2014, RainCity Housing has partnered with the City of Vancouver, the Community Arts Council of Vancouver and local artist, actress and director Luisa Jojic on an exciting theatre project to stimulate dialogue and new understandings around issues of homelessness.

Under Jojic’s direction and guidance, a diverse group of participants have developed an original script together, using Shakespearean text as a foundation for addressing issues related to home, community, identity and belonging.

We are very excited about the coming together of individuals – folks who are vulnerably housed, formerly homeless or homeless, and those with a higher income and have housing – in order to create, produce and act in ‘Much Ado about Something’!


The project will culminate in three performances during Homelessness Action Week in October:

• Carnegie Centre, 401 Main St (free performance for low-income folks) – Tues Oct 14, 7pm
• Waterfront Theatre, 1412 Cartwright St (tickets) – Thurs Oct 16, 7pm
• Kwantlen Park Secondary School Theatre, 10441 132nd St, Surrey (tickets) – Fri Oct 17, 7pm


For tickets to the Waterfront Theatre show, you can visit Eventbrite.

For tickets to the Surrey show, please call 604.961.2170


Check out all the great projects taking place during Homelessness Action Week October 12-18!

Events in Vancouver

Events in Metro Vancouver

This great project wouldn’t have been possible without the financial support of our partners, the City of Vancouver and the Community Arts Council of Vancouver, and the boundless energy and commitment of Luisa Jojic. Thank you!


Luisa Jojic appears with the permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.


Families helping families!

Even though you may not have a diagnosis, family members can often feel alone and unable to relate to others when struggling to support their own family members that do have a diagnosis, especially when they’ve just been diagnosed.

“I began to understand what might be going on inside our son, not just what I was feeling. My anger finally gave way to compassion…take the Family to Family course, it will change your lives”.
- a past participant

We invite you to participate in this incredible course which takes place later this month.

Family to Family: A comprehensive education course for families dealing with serious mental illness.

  • When: Tuesday evenings, Sept 23 to Dec 9 from 7:00 p.m.— 9:30 p.m.
  • Where: 3rd Floor Activity Room, 5616 Fraser Street , Vancouver, BC V5W 2Z4
  • How much: ABSOLUTELY FREE!


  • symptoms of the illnesses (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, clinical depression, obsessive compulsive disorder) and their biological causes
  • medications used to treat these brain disorders
  • problem solving and how to cope; communication with someone who is ill
  • advice on working with the system
  • looking after yourself as a caregiver

In order to register, please contact one of the following:
RainCity Housing contact: Mei Ng, mng@raincityhousing.org (604-215-3041)
NSSS contact: Melanie Scott, Mele@northshoreschizophrenia.org (604-926-0856)

Presented by North Shore Schizophrenia Society in partnership with RainCity Housing. Funded in part by the Vancouver Foundation.

It’s time to make some space!

We are ready to take our first physical steps to address homelessness in Coquitlam.

Over the next few weeks, crews will be clearing the trees at 3030 Gordon in Coquitlam so construction can start in September/October for our newest building. In order to lessen the environmental footprint, trees will be assessed for milling and potential use for benches, vegetable planters and fencing for the project, and there’s now talk of finding ways to use the remaining bits for mulch and composting! The new greenery will include trees, bushes and grasses.

In January of this year Coquitlam City Council approved the development plans for the building, and the next step is the building permit approval. Once completed, it will provide 30 units of transitional housing, 30 emergency shelter rooms, and during extreme weather conditions an additional 30 shelter beds in dormitory rooms – all in the same building!

Providing this kind of shelter and housing has been a priority for the City of Coquitlam, the Tri-Cities Homelessness Task Group and BC Housing for a number of years. We are incredibly excited to be the operator of this building and that the project is soon moving off the ‘drawing board’ and into construction.

RainCity Housing will be providing support services for the shelter residents, including meals, counseling, life skills development and connections to community health and wellness services. Our staff have been active member of the Tri-Cities Homelessness Task Group over the past 3 years, and we look forward to working with many of the service providers in the Tri-Cities.

We will have a dedicated page to this upcoming project before the end of the month, so be sure to come back and check it out. If you have any questions about this project, you can email Associate Director Sean Spear at sspear@raincityhousing.org

Multitasking for Good!

Admit it – you find yourself multitasking every day, but what if it were actually fun? Like hanging out with friends, eating burgers and drinking beer, listening to live music and raising funds – all at the SAME TIME!!

On Thursday, June 12, folks in the Lower Mainland can join us at the Railway Club and starting at 6pm you can multitask till your heart’s content. Have you ever been to a Pub Night Fundraiser at the Railway? Me neither, so here’s your chance! This event is for our #Run4housing Team in the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k.

Plus, Will Blunderfield will be performing, as well as other great local artists! Tickets are $25 in advance, or $30 at the door. That includes entry, burger, beer and live music and the proceeds will go to specifically to our Community Meal Program for the 147 people living at Margeurite Ford Apartments. So we want to get at least 147 people out, person for person, so to speak, or a meal for a meal. Check out the Event page on Facebook for more info and how to get tickets in advance – cheaper!