Cindy Beedie pledges $375,000 in matched gifts to expand Powell Place women’s shelter

VANCOUVER – November 22, 2012 – Women in Vancouver at risk of homelessness are one step closer to enhanced and coordinated housing and support during times of crisis. Cindy Beedie and the Beedie family have pledged $375,000 to match donations received from now until Christmas Day, December 25th, 2012.

“I stand behind Powell Place because I believe in the work they do,” said Cindy Beedie, chair of the Powell Place private capital campaign. “The women that Powell Place serves struggle with poverty, addictions, mental health issues and the effects of acute and systemic violence and abuse. At Powell Place, women receive a safe place to stay and access to the support they need to move forward in their lives.”

“My hope is to give the final push to make the expansion of Powell Place a reality by December 25th, which will bring critical essential services to desperate women on the Downtown Eastside.”

The need for expanded emergency shelter services for women is acute. Last year Powell Place received 1,600 requests for shelter that it was unable to accommodate. The 2011 Metro Vancouver Homeless Count showed that women account 30 per cent of all homeless people in Vancouver, and that number has been rising since 2005.

“This is a critical situation for these women and I find it unacceptable for women to be turned away from shelters that are full when I know more help can be made available,” continues Cindy. “Everyone’s dollar counts. We are so close to reaching our goal and our family will contribute up to $375,000 in matching donations, meaning every contribution is effectively doubled.”

The expanded Powell Place, scheduled for completion in 2014, will have space to provide shelter, counseling and learning opportunities that assist women in transitioning successfully to the next step of their journey, including:

– 52 beds available 24 hours a day, seven days a week
– health assessment and treatment facilities
– workshop and group space
– enclosed outdoor space and garden
– recreation areas
– commercial kitchen and eating areas

“Cindy understands the impact that safe and supportive services can have for women who live with multiple challenges,” says Bloom Group director, Trudi Shymka. “This gift will be the catalyst to get those last dollars in to make Powell Place a more accessible space with better facilities to help more women find their footing and begin to heal.”

In total, the expansion, scheduled to break ground fall 2013, will cost $4.3 million which includes funding from BC Housing and the City of Vancouver. We thank all our donors, particularly early supporters like St. Mary’s Kerrisdale Anglican Church, Rudy and Patricia North, Central City Foundation and Face the World Foundation. Special appreciation goes to Ryan & Cindy Beedie and Todd Yuen, Vice President, Industrial Development with the Beedie Group, for his tremendous support.

Powell Place provides women with a safe and supportive place to stay while they cultivate the life skills that empower them to manage the complexity of their challenges and focus on next steps to move forward and build resilient lives. Many women who stay with us have experienced abuse, poverty, mental illness, and/or addiction. They are survivors.

At Powell Place, we do not judge. We accept all women regardless of their circumstances. The Bloom Group’s Powell Place and Spring House are two of the few women-only shelters in Vancouver. Our all-women staff provides 24/7 services that are inclusive, accessible and based on respect.

For interviews with Cindy Beedie or Trudi Shymka, or for further information, please contact:

Fen Hsiao
Marketing and Communications Manager
604-606-0302

fhsiao@thebloomgroup.org

To learn more about Powell Place and the capital campaign or receive PowellPlace e-news visit www.expandpowellplace.com.