Whether you were in the heart of Downtown Vancouver, or on the Sunshine Coast, there were some really cold days this winter. But our neighbours and supporters stepped up in so many ways in a lot of the communities where we provide housing and shelter. And not just leading up to Christmas – we’ve been getting donations of food, warm clothing, waterproof footwear, and so many other items throughout December AND January that we wanted to thank folks again.
Here are some of the people and organizations that dug deep and were able to provide the kind of stuff that people really needed: thanks to Gina from Deep Cove who reached out via social media to pull together funds and purchased food and crucial clothing for the tenants at Windchimes in Vancouver; thanks to Terry and Lori Teng, Golds Gym Poco Group Fitness Fanatics, and the Fireside CCBC for their food and clothing fundraiser for the people staying and living at 3030 Gordon in Coquitlam; thanks to Acrteryx Vancouver for the donations of new gloves, toques and scarves for people at our Triage Shelter in Vancouver; thanks to the Weekly Arkaya Men’s Circle for delivering food to the people at our Gibsons Shelter on the Sunshine Coast; and thanks to GRIP for their donations from the Tri-Cities community for the people living and staying at 3030 Gordon in Coquitlam.
For all of this and so much more, and the huge amount of donated funds we received during the winter months – thank you, thank you, thank you! You’ve definitely warmed the chills away!
Today’s youth can remind us of what is truly important, and that anyone – at any age – can make a difference. These three youth were too young to vote or run a business so they each found different ways to support others. For her 6th birthday Vivian asked for donations instead of gifts and raised over $200! Chloe, rather than receive Christmas gifts, asked for donations and raised $365! And Ming, knowing people can get cold and can feel forgotten during the winter, knitted scarves for everyone staying at our Winter Response Shelter.
A huge shout out to all of the people in these young people’s lives who set examples and/or have talked about the importance of giving back and building community. An even bigger shout out to Ming, Chloe and Vivian who each made their own choices to help others, knowing they would need to provide their own time, energy and money to do so. I know I wasn’t thinking of others who might need support when I was 6, or 8, or even 16. Whether it’s Climate Change, or racism, or homelessness, young people are speaking out and acting in order to make a difference.
You might. While the cost of living is getting higher in BC’s Lower Mainland, you probably have a job and money to put towards regular meals in your home. But if you’re household is relying on social assistance as the main or only source of income, a BC Center for Disease Control study found that 75% of these households are food insecure, and female lone-parent households with children under the age of 18 face the highest rate of food insecurity. 
What is Food Insecurity?
When someone has limited or no access to adequate, culturally-appropriate and nutritional food, that person is experiencing food insecurity. Food insecurity contributes to poorer overall health – physical, mental, and emotional – and can negatively impact conditions like:
And someone experiencing food insecurity can also find it harder to concentrate or manage their emotions. 
Food Insecurity at RainCity
Over half of the housing at RainCity doesn’t have a funded meal program, and almost all of those buildings are located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, where healthy food is scarce, lineups for hot meals are long, and hours to available food service are limited.
While some of our programs benefit from local food donations
– and thank you for those! – food donations alone do not guarantee ongoing meals.
What can be done?
Our Board has launched a fundraising campaign ‘Healthy Food, Healthy Minds’ to address this! There are three ways to contribute:
Make a personal donation – Every donation makes a difference at RainCity. 100% of your donation goes directly to food security. A donation of $60 will provide a month of weekly meals for a mom and her two kids!
Become a Monthly Donor – A monthly donor makes a huge impact while having little impact on your own budget. If you and nine people you know all decided to donate $50 a month (a nice dinner out with a close friend), the total would cover weekly meals for the 24 women living at the Vivian for a year!
Have Your Business Sponsor a Meal Program! – By sponsoring one or more of these meal programs, your donation will mean people no longer needing to use all of their time and energy to secure food – they will be able to focus healthier brains and bodies on learning valuable life skills, participating in life in a different way, and making their life and the lives of those around them better. Email us for more info.
“Food security exists when all people, at all times, have economic, physical and social access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”
– United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
N, PhD, Dachner, N, MSc, Tarasuk, V, PhD, August 2016, Priority health equity indicators for British Columbia: Household food
insecurity indicator report <http://www.bccdc.ca/pop-public-health/Documents/Household%20food%20insecurity%20in%20BC_full%20report.pdf>
H, DrPH, RD, 2017, The Impact of Poverty,
Food Insecurity, and Poor Nutrition on Health and Well-Being <https://frac.org/wp-content/uploads/hunger-health-impact-poverty-food-insecurity-health-well-being.pdf>
Food Insecurity Policy Research, 2016 The
Impact of Food Insecurity on Health
On Friday, March 29 we were part of the official opening event for the first of two modular housing projects in Chilliwack. It really does take a village to make changes and only by working together can we address crucial issues like addressing homelessness.
All levels and types of government, people throughout the community sharing tasks and knowledge, all working towards a collective goal – ending homelessness.
What will happen on this site in Chilliwack?
is clearly a need for more affordable housing in Chilliwack. The modular
housing will open in April 2019 and tenanting will begin towards the end of the
will be provided meals and have access to life and employment skills training,
and receive health and wellness support services to assist them in overcoming health
and other challenges in order to maintaining their housing.
responsibilities include property management, operations management, and tenant
selection in collaboration with BC Housing and community partners. Once people
move in, staff provide 24/7 on site support to tenants.
An invitation to join the
Community Advisory Committee
If you are a community member – either a business owner or
residents – that lives and/or works near 45944 Yale Road, you may be
interesting becoming a member of the Community Advisory Committee for this modular
The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) monitors
progress and discusses issues and works towards constructive solutions to
issues. It plays a key role in addressing concerns and helping to
successfully integrate the building and its residents into the community.
The committee includes:
Members of the Community (5 to 7
residents and/or businesses)