Vancouver-based nonprofit organization newsletter update

Issue 4. October 2021

Welcome to the fall 2021 edition of BloomBuzz!

Food For Thought

Food, perhaps more than any other consumable, has the potential to transport the senses, to transcend to another time and place, to provide a sense of security, comfort, and love. On the recent Thanksgiving weekend, Canadians across the country celebrated with food that brought warmth, cheer, and a feeling of home. The Bloom Group gives thanks to our extended family entrusted in our care by ensuring our clients, residents, and patients are not only fed but that they are fed well.

For people like Randy Larocque, Food Services Manager for The Bloom Group, providing balanced, nutritional, and delicious meals is a full-time endeavour and passionate pursuit. His enthusiasm for meal planning, preparation, and delivery is evident: “It never stops being rewarding,” Larocque said. “The look of sheer delight on the faces of the residents as they tuck into a meal makes it all worthwhile. It never gets stale.” The Bloom Group provides more than a roof over someone’s head. In addition to providing quality, well-balanced meals 3 x day 7 days/week, residents are regularly treated to special menus such as:

October Lunch Menu Clients healthy food

Food Facts! Did you know The Bloom Group:

1. Serves 213 individuals/week.  2. Provides meal service for 6 residences. 3. Prepares 4,725 meals / week. 4. Employs 19 Food Services employees.

BC Housing

BC Housing and The Bloom Group – building strong communities in partnership

Thanks to a long and successful partnership with BC Housing, The Bloom Group is able to provide housing and support to 500 residents in Vancouver each year. The Bloom Group is grateful for the opportunity to partner with BC Housing to develop healthy, resilient communities.

“BC Housing has enjoyed a long and productive relationship with The Bloom Group over many decades,” says Shayne Ramsay, CEO of BC Housing. “Your achievements in serving some of our most marginalized communities are truly remarkable. It has been nothing short of lifesaving. On behalf of BC Housing, I wish you a very happy 60th birthday.”

Shayne Ramsay, CEO, BC Housing 

A Father/Son Legacy

Vancouver-based affordable housing the View

“The poetic metaphor of transforming a jail into housing is the healthiest message any society can send to its next generation.”

Gregory Henriquez, Managing Principal, Henriquez Partners Architects

In the late 1970s architect Richard Henriquez designed a new Remand Centre in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside that held individuals charged with crimes while their cases were being adjudicated.

The Centre closed in 2002 and remained empty until 2008 when Gregory Henriquez, Richard’s son, approached the City with an idea for a housing project to turn the now-empty jail into much-needed affordable housing. Heavy security elements were stripped from the building, former jail cells were demolished and 96 units of social and affordable housing were constructed.

The detainees’ former gymnasium became a shared amenity space with a kitchen for the new residents and surrounding commu­nity.

The exercise yard for the previous detainees was redesigned into a community garden with flowers and vegetables.

The province and City collaborated to add much-needed social and affordable rentals in the Downtown Eastside and hired the Bloom Group to operate this project in the neighbour­hood where Bloom had served the most vulnerable with unflagging commitment for half a century. The View was completed in the summer of 2015.

From start to finish, this poetic transformation of a jail into housing is a remarkable father/son tale with both architects deeply con­cerned about granting dignity to both former and future inhabitants.

affordable housing The View

The transformation of The Bloom Group’s The View from an empty jail to affordable housing is a spectacular metamorphosis of architecture rich with history and a father/son legacy.

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The Bloom Group
391 Powell Street
Vancouver, BC
V6A 1G4