New Mustard Seed executive director sets lofty goals

Bruce Curtiss has been named the new executive director of the Mustard Seed.

  • Sep. 21, 2016 12:00 p.m.

Bruce Curtiss has been named the new executive director of the Mustard Seed.

Even though Bruce Curtiss has only been in Victoria for the past two weeks, he’s already set a lofty goal for himself — helping to end homelessness in the city.

“I would love the next 16 years to work myself out of a job,” said Curtiss, the new executive director of the Mustard Seed.

“I would love for this job to be short-term and temporary because we’ve solved a problem. I would love to end poverty, homelessness, marginalization, addiction, that’s my dream.”

Curtiss comes to Victoria after working at the Union Gospel Mission, an organization that provides meals, shelter, outreach and chaplaincy services in Vancouver, in various roles for more than 16 years.

He originally started as a volunteer and then moved on to a part-time support worker. From there Curtiss became senior chaplain, chaplain manager and eventually manager, creating programs that prevent people from falling into the cycle of homelessness.

Over the years of serving at a grassroots organization, Curtiss oversaw much of the day-to-day services, and has witnessed first-hand more than his share of tragedies on the streets. He’s responded to people getting hit by cars, overdoses and suicide attempts.

“It’s a tough plea. It’s so destructive. It just breaks my heart. It’s really engrained in me to really want to make a difference in not just the individuals’ lives. Individuals make up the community and that filters out into neighbourhoods, communities and cities and hopefully globally, that things can change,” he said.

However, Curtiss knows he can’t bring about change on his own, noting not one agency can solve the problem of homelessness and that it must be a collective community and societal effort.

At the Mustard Seed, Curtiss hopes to continue his hands-on approach with people in the local community, walking and talking to people on the streets.

According to the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness, there are roughly 1,300 homeless people in Victoria.

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria-Saanich amalgamation discussions won’t be open to the public

The upcoming citizens’ assembly meetings will be held in camera

Red-tailed hawk’s own bill is killing him

‘Most birds with this syndrome will starve to death without treatment’

Outdoor cats one of the biggest causes of wildlife injuries, says Wild ARC

Spring a vulnerable time for fledlings, small mammals

Royals face Blazers to kickoff WHL playoffs

Series opens Friday, March 22 at Victoria’s Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre

Search and rescue volunteers work to keep waterways safe

Over 1,000 volunteers help keep mariners safe; headquarters based in Sooke

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Dead sea lion discovered on Hornby Island shoreline

Reports indicate animal was shot in the head

Celina Caesar-Chavannes quits Liberal caucus, sits as independent MP

The Whitby, Ont., MP has been a vocal supporter of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott

Island SPCA overwhelmed by 45 cats taken from Comox Valley property

Many of the cats will be transferred to branches in Nanaimo and Victoria

Woman punched on the sidelines of B.C. soccer game

Both involved were watching the U21 game in West Vancouver from the sidelines when things got heated

Paramedic staff shortage at critical level: B.C. union

A number of units were out of service due to lack of staffing in Lower Mainland, union says

B.C. dairy farmers say federal budget not enough to cut losses from USMCA

Concerns raised over vague details, funding access and impacts on growth

Most Read