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

Overworked and understaffed: More than 300 vacancies in Vancouver Island nursing

Tentative deal with province includes ‘working short premium’ to encourage hiring

Victoria city council seeks authority to tax empty homes

Council is asking the province for the authority to invoke a vacancy tax

Backyardigans, Max & Ruby stage shows add to Family Day in Sidney

Bodine Hall shows make room for kids to sing, dance, enjoy Family Day weekend

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes says municipality will re-group after Rowing Canada decision

Haynes said he is “quite disappointed” but also respects choice of North Cowichan as national centre

CRD committee proposes ending livestock payouts to farmers

The bylaw has existed since the creation of the CRD’s animal control service in 1979

VIDEO: Excessive speed on the Malahat captured by dash cam footage

Poster calls driving ‘dangerous, obnoxious and disrespectful’

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

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

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Most Read