After a year of fundraising, Victoria’s Umbrella Society can add Foundation House, a recovery home that houses 11 men in active recovery, to its assets.
Foundation House provides a home for men who have completed a minimum of 30 days in stabilization or residential treatment for addiction. Men living in the house pay $850 for a shared room and $1,050 for a private room each month for groceries, utilities, on-site counseling, staff and outreach services.
Umbrella hosted two fundraisers last year, a charity hockey game in February that featured the Montreal Canadiens Alumni team and another game in October with Boston Bruins alumni, to raise funds for a down payment for the house. In addition to the charity hockey games, Umbrella had a number of generous donations from the community that helped push them over the fundraising goal of $100,000.
The previous owner Vancouver Island Addiction Recovery Society — which rented to Umbrella for the past five years — also helped the society reach the goal by selling the house for less than market value.
“There will [now] be no disruptions in services and the community won’t lose this resource,” says Sharlene Law, executive director of Umbrella. “It also means … we won’t have to raise any rent so the housing stays very affordable for the residents which is really important in this climate.”
Law says the hope now is to be able to pay off the home as quickly as possible and then use it to help fund other recovery homes or services. According to Law, Umbrella Society will aim to have a fundraiser every year but is holding off until the pandemic is declared over, although they hope to have a block party in September to give back to the Burnside Gorge community.
Last year, Foundation House was featured in a Black Press Media series called House of Hope, which highlighted the valleys and peaks that go hand-in-hand when overcoming something as crippling as drug addiction, alcoholism or not having access to mental health resources. To read that series visit vicnews.com/tag/house-of-hope.