More Room for Hope…this has not only been the name of our capital campaign, but it has also been a rallying cry for our organization and those who have supported us through these past months. In Spring 2018 we set the ambitious capital campaign goal of raising $2 Million to renovate and expand Samaritan House shelter for women. We have been encouraged and inspired by those of you who have contributed to this goal and who have committed to stand alongside us and to create More Room for Hope in our community.
In September 2018, Island Crisis Care Society was approached by BC Housing to assist with a project to provide crisis support to the large number of individuals who were involved with the tent city at 1 Port Place in Nanaimo. Though we knew this project would undoubtedly be a massive undertaking, when we reflected on our mission statement to “Provide shelter and care for those in need”, we were compelled to step up to this task.
Newcastle Place Temporary Supportive Housing opened its doors in November 2018 to 78 former residents of Tent City. The first few weeks and months of operation were not without their challenges and the heart and soul of our organization was tested time and time again. Through all of this though, the familiar words, “More Room for Hope” have continued to resonate throughout Island Crisis Care Society. Newcastle Place was created as a temporary solution to a crisis situation in Nanaimo and we have continued to be challenged by the realities that this has presented. We have also been blessed to see many individuals begin to regain a sense of safety and of being supported; but now it is time to bring our attention back to the longer-term projects such as Orca Place Supportive Housing in Oceanside and the Samaritan House expansion in Nanaimo.
We are pleased to report that, as of May 2019, our More Room for Hope Capital Campaign has raised over $230,000! Though this amount represents just over 10% of our total goal, we are even more pleased to report that we have continued to engage in ongoing and productive conversations with various levels of government regarding potential assistance with this expansion project. There has been a great sense of collaboration towards the best way for Samaritan House to fit in to the overall solution for homelessness in Nanaimo. We have also seen a recognition, highlighted by the challenges of Newcastle Place and Nikao Place (our “sister site” operated by Pacifica Housing), around the growing needs within our community. Working at this critical level has shown us the importance of expanding Samaritan House, not only in size…but also in programming. We are excited about the possibilities that this new site will allow us; to offer our clients and residents increased support services, access to life skills training, increased social and community interaction and much more.
We know first-hand that waiting is never easy! Our staff at Samaritan House continue to work tirelessly to do the best they can to offer support, shelter and safety to our residents…despite all the challenges that an aging, over capacity building seems to throw at them daily. Floods and leaks and broken boards, lack of storage or even of a place to sit for a rest from it all. Yet our staff are waiting patiently and working hard, because they cannot give up on hope.
We wanted to take this time to say to those of you who have supported us thus far…thank you for not giving up, thank you for your patience and most of all, thank you for your commitment to create More Room for Hope! Your continued support means the world to us, if you are interested in contributing further or learning about additional ways that you can support this project and those who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness in our community, please contact us.
If you have any questions or comments to share with us, regarding the More Room for Hope Campaign or any of Island Crisis Care Society’s programming, please feel free to contact myself or our Resource Development Coordinator, Corrie Corfield at firstname.lastname@example.org or call directly 778-441-4227 ext.111.
Island Crisis Care Society