Habitat staff got busy building!

Staff from all areas of Habitat Greater Vancouver, from the ReStore to the Fleet to the office, all participated in a day on the build site, doing what we work to accomplish every day, building more homes for local working families. If you or your colleagues have yet to be part of this incredible experience, be sure to book your Habitat Build Day now and reserve a day before next summer when the homes will be complete! You will feel empowered and witness a family receiving the keys to their new future.

50% off all ReStore Furniture and Decor - November 17th and 18th

Visit one of our four ReStores this Friday and Saturday and take home a fresh look in preparation for the Holiday Season. Hundreds of new items in stock: new, gently used and vintage! It's a win-win as your purchases help build homes for hardworking families - 12 of whom are looking forward to the completion of their homes in Richmond next year!

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Steph Baker
Global Village Alumni - Come Celebrate with Us!

Greetings from Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver!

Hi there,

Because you are a Global Village participant or team leader, I am reaching out to invite you to connect with our rather large community of local “Habittaters” who have also helped provide homes for thousands of families across the globe.

There are over 800 warm and generous Vancouverites like you who have participated on a Global Village trip somewhere in the world. Personally, my wife and I have been on 3 trips, so we are keenly aware of the life altering perspectives one gains from the GV experience, and look forward to the next one.

Wouldn’t it be exciting to celebrate our common interest of building homes and serving families by sharing our experiences and stories? We think so, which is why we’re arranging a party to give you an opportunity to connect with others in the GV community. We would also like to fill you in on what is happening with Habitat locally - with the Richmond build for 12 families currently underway and an upcoming project in Coquitlam for another 50 – 60 families, there are tons of opportunities to help out with your local Habitat affiliate.

Here’s what I need from you:

Email  “Yes” to celebrate@habitatgv.ca  if you’re interest in connecting, and I’ll do the rest!

Thank you for your support and significant contribution to building a better world, here and there!

Warm wishes,

Dennis Coutts, CEO Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver.

Team Building in Richmond A corporate group joins a family soon to be living in our Richmond Homes.

Team Building in Richmond

A corporate group joins a family soon to be living in our Richmond Homes.

Miranda Thorne
City of Coquitlam is Partnering with Habitat!
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Habitat for Humanity to Provide Affordable Housing in Coquitlam


COQUITLAM, BC, June 27 – Further to a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) process, the City of Coquitlam has selected Habitat for Humanity of Greater Vancouver as the successful proponent to build affordable housing at 1358 Coast Meridian Road.

The development of this affordable housing site through a partnership between the City and Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver is a key action item in the implementation of the City’s Housing Affordability Strategy, which was adopted in December 2015.

The key objectives and desired outcomes for this affordable housing project include:
• Affordable units for low to moderate-income level households earning between 50-80% of Coquitlam’s annual median income;
• Offer options for affordable home ownership;
• Design elements that achieve a high level of accessibility for those with varying accessibility challenges; and if possible
• Potentially benefit the City’s Affordable Housing Reserve Fund (AHRF).

The City received 13 proposals from eight proponents and selected Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver’s proposal to build affordable home ownership units for modest income families who are currently renting and would normally not qualify for a traditional mortgage.

All of the 40-50 units at 1358 Coast Meridian Road will be suitable for families and meet the City’s affordability target for low-to-moderate household incomes ($35,000-$55,000 a year).
For all participating families, Habitat sets interest-free mortgage payments at a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 30% of household income, in order to ensure affordability.

As part of their commitment to Habitat, participating families are required to volunteer 500 hours of “sweat equity” (e.g., helping at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, assisting in fundraising or working on a Habitat housing project). Families are also required to attend workshops to help them learn about the responsibilities of home ownership.

The next steps in the process will be the preparation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the partnership between the City and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Vancouver. The MOU will outline specific project details including the terms related to the property transfer, any AHRF contributions, maintenance, target population, etc., and will be subject to Council’s approval.  

For more information on the City of Coquitlam’s Housing Affordability Strategy, visit www.coquitlam.ca/housing.


About Habitat for Humanity of Greater Vancouver
One of 56 Habitat for Humanity affiliates cross Canada, Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver works with deserving families to build safe and affordable housing. To learn more, visit habitatgv.ca.

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Media contact:

City of Coquitlam
Jim McIntyre
General Manager, Planning & Development
604-927-3401

Habitat for Humanity
Dennis Coutts
CEO
Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver
dcoutts@habitatgv.ca

Stephani Baker
Director, Operations/Fund Development
Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver
604-681-5618
sbaker@habitatgv.ca

Habitat for Humanity
We Have Build Permits!!
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Thought for the Day

I have some very good news to share with you all. 

Just before I put pen to paper on that, I would like to share some personal thoughts with you.

As supporters of Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver, we all share a common vision and purpose.  That vision and purpose is to make the world a better place for those families we have collectively chosen to serve in many different ways.  In that service, you have dedicated yourselves and you have kept vision and purpose alive through often difficult circumstances.   That is amazing, a good reflection of the quality of character you each possess.   Donors, volunteers, staff and families alike.

I am grateful that you have kept the vision that someday, we would build homes for families that need our help, making a difference for them, their children, and their children’s children. 


Now, the good news!  We have received our building permits for 8180 Ash Street in Richmond!!!!  We can now begin to fulfill the vision so many of you have kept alive for so long.  We are going to begin building by May 31 with boots on the ground. 

We know exactly what to do now.  Build Homes.  Build Hope.


Habitat will now enter a new chapter in our history, and I am excited we all get to take this trip together. 

Now we look to all of our supporters more than ever to help us execute.  Whether it be donated services or product or cash, donating your time or fundraising - together we can have an impact.

Right now we are looking for volunteer part-time administrative build support, hoping a call out to volunteers will give opportunities to those who expressed an interest in the build program.  We have also posted for a site supervisor to oversee the next great challenge of building. 


Let’s celebrate!  This is a great day for all of us, and more good news is on the horizon, but for today?  Let’s go hard and be happy on our journey.  Looking forward to build days with you all.  Bring your energy, knowledge, enthusiasm and donations and we will get you in a hard hat and swinging a hammer.

With deep appreciation for each of you and your hard work.


My very best,
Dennis Coutts

CEO Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver

GORDON FOOD SERVICE – A SHINING STAR IN THE COMMUNITY
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GORDON FOOD SERVICE – A SHINING STAR IN THE COMMUNITY

It is often said that it takes a community to raise a child – in this case, it takes a community, and caring partners in the community, to build safe homes in which to raise healthy, happy children. 

Gordon Food Service is just such a partner in our community.  Habitat for Humanity has been fortunate to have their significant financial support Canada-wide for many years.  Each year, employees, friends and business partners assist their various business groups raise money through local fundraisers to contribute to the building of homes in communities across the land. 

Habitat Greater Vancouver is honoured to have the commitment of GFS BC and their extended “family” as one of our largest partners and a full home sponsor, through their donation of $100,000 to our upcoming Richmond homes! 

As if this was not already an incredible gift, an energetic team of 17 women (and some men) have taken on the challenge of raising a minimum of $1,000 each in support of our Women Build campaign – also in support of the Richmond homes.  Their team has, to date, raised over $15,000 and is now the top fundraising team for this initiative. 

This outstanding achievement and support of our work is humbling and deeply appreciated by those who will benefit from their efforts and generosity – our families and children!  We know that they are all excited to trade in their office attire for work boots and tool belts for a few days and we cannot wait to welcome them! 

Some of them, pictured here, couldn’t wait and took a trip to the build site to get in the mood! 

Left to right :
Theresa Chernoff -GFS  BC- Women Build Chair

Colleen Hayes - SCA

Tricia Joseph -GFS BC

Deb Franz -Riches

Carly Anderson -SCA 

Kerry Rogers - GFS BC

THANK YOU GFS for making the dream of home ownership a reality for struggling families!  

Whisky Wisemen
New CEO
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Dear Habitat supporters:

The Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver (HFHGV) is pleased to announce the hiring of Dennis Coutts as our CEO effective January 2016. Dennis comes to HFHGV from Regina where he was most recently the Executive Director of Regina Palliative Care. Prior to this Dennis served as the CEO for Habitat for Humanity Regina (HFHR) from 2007 to 2013, building over 60 homes and raising close to $20M in donation. Under his leadership HFHR transformed from an under-performing affiliate to one recognized nationally as a high performing affiliate. 

Dennis lead teams to Habitat Global Village outreach in El Salvador, Honduras, Portugal and is planning Macedonia in 2016.

Other awards for HFHR:

Habitat for Humanity Regina Inc. most improved affiliate in Canada 2008
Habitat for Humanity Regina Inc. most significant growth in class in Canada 2010
Habitat for Humanity Regina Inc. best of class in Canada 2011
Habitat for Humanity Regina Inc. International Support Award 5 years running.

Prior to living in Regina, Dennis lived in BC for 22 years. He has been married to his wife, Wendy, for 44 years, had 3 grown children and 4 granddaughters.

We are excited to have Dennis join our team, bringing his passion and experience with Habitat to the partner families, volunteers, donors, staff and members of our affiliate.

Sincerely,

Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver Board of Directors.

Habitat for Humanity
Renovation Miele

Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver was thrilled to partner with Miele Canada in the deconstruction of their Yaletown showroom as part of their expansion/renovation plans. In support of the City of Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan and their goal to reduce solid waste by 50% of 2008 levels HFHGV has been actively seeking out opportunities to educate and train volunteers and staff on Deconstruction practises. The Miele deconstruction allowed us to focus on one of the cities four highest priority action items under their “Zero Waste” component. “This action focuses on policies to prevent wood and other materials from being sent to the landfill or incinerator through a process that takes apart buildings and salvages materials, rather than a traditional demolition method.”

This also provided our team of international students, ReStore Managers, tradesman from a local construction company, volunteers, and our Deconstruction Team Leader with education on the ins and outs of the deconstruction and reuse industry. It provided valuable experience and education helping us create experts to support and contribute to the Green Jobs Initiative.  Our primary focus for this project was education and materials recovery.

“What is A Green Job? This plan borrows from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) definition, which describes green jobs as those that “contribute substantially to preserving or restoring environmental quality… reduce energy, materials and water consumption… decarbonize the economy and minimize or altogether avoid generation of all forms of waste and pollution.” Job sectors range from clean technology and green buildings to education and materials recovery. Green jobs also include jobs in traditional sectors with businesses that have significantly greener processes or operations than industry standards. The GCAP has added local food to the UNEP definition, as growing an urban food system is central to the Greenest City vision for a sustainable economy. Local food is defined here as all food and beverage (including wine) produced and consumed within British Columbia.”

Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver has the unique opportunity of not only having a strong volunteer base but also a network of retail locations that sell reclaimed building supplies. Thus allowing us to effectively remove and resell the components reclaimed from the deconstruction. We successfully diverted 8 kitchens, tables, stools and cabinetry from landfill. Funds raised from the sale of these goods will help build decent, affordable homes for hardworking families in our community who would not otherwise be able to own a home.

We would like to thank the amazing team at Miele:

Kelly Lam VP Marketing

Selby Kostuik Designer

Scott McIvor Project Manager

Lossen Zimmerman Centre Supervisor

Habitat for Humanity
Richmond Build Approved!

On Monday July 13th 2015, Richmond City Council approved our new build project on 8180 Ash Street.

Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver is thrilled to announce that we are one step closer to providing 6 new homes for 12 Partner Families. This approval gives us the green light to begin the planning process for our build; this includes securing build permits for the fall.

The ability for us to succeed and move forward was due largely to the incredible donation of 18 months of time, expertise and services from Abbarch Architecture and PWL Partnership Landscape Architects.  They provided design and numerous amendments to the project to garner final approval.

Thank you Abbarch and PWL!

We also owe a huge thank you to all of our volunteers, donors and friends of Habitat Greater Vancouver for your continued patience and support, we look forward to seeing you on the build site over the next year!

*Details of the start of building activity will be forthcoming in the near future.

Habitat for Humanity
Habitat 's Development Variance Permit approved

Habitat Greater Vancouver is very pleased to announce that its Development Variance Permit application was approved on Wednesday, June 24 2015 by the municipality of Richmond.  Habitat Greater Vancouver is seeking authorization for its 8180 Ash Street development project to build 6 single family homes with rental suites that will provide 12 hardworking families with homes.

The organisation’s municipal application had to be reintroduced after its Development Variance Permit was denied this spring based on vehicle manoeuverability in parking areas, concerns expressed by the community on house design and need for additional community consultation.

Habitat successfully addressed those issues and inquiries before the Development Permit Panel. Subsequently, the organization is now able to submit for City Council approval on July 13th and proceed to apply for a building permit by late September. Habitat Greater Vancouver will announce its new ground-breaking date in late fall and extends its deepest appreciation to its supporters for their continued commitment and patience.

Habitat for Humanity
Stepping on Solid Ground with Habitat’s Buy Back Model

When Randall Forrester, or Randy as he likes to be called, and his family moved into their house in the spring of 2004, he knew he was setting the foundation for his ten year plan. He and his wife had been proactively searching for a house for a long while and were getting ready to move out east to Saskatchewan when they heard about Habitat for Humanity on a CBC show.

Despite a few reservations, Randall decided to attend an introduction session and as they say the rest is history. Even though the time between the application and actual move was longer than he expected, Randy says that he and his wife were very clear that it was a “hand up” that would allow them to move into the local market they had been struggling with for so long.

“We knew we were reasonable, hardworking people and that we would get there”.

At the end of last summer Randy’s dream came true and he was able to acquire a house in New Westminster thanks to the Habitat Greater Vancouver buyback process. When asked about moving out of his ten-year home, Randy describes his exiting experience as “fantastic” as flexibility allowed him to plan out his transfer from one house to another on a convenient schedule.

The Forrester family’s Habitat journey was not a “perfect picture” as Randy puts it. Of course, there were a few challenges along the way, such as finding a school for his daughter, but he describes his experience as instrumental to accessing the regular market and feels strongly about “passing the opportunity along to others”.

He says that having worked onsite at Habitat while fulfilling the sweat equity requirement is really helping out with his current remodelling. “It gave me so much more knowledge and the practical skills of building and renovating a house”. Needless to say, Randy is also a frequent ReStore customer where he shops for supplies.

Randy says he is extremely grateful to Habitat for the opportunity and is eager to continue his relationship with the organization through supportive involvement. We wish him the best on his new adventure as a homeowner and look forward to running into him at the ReStores.

Habitat for Humanity
Richmond Build Update
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Dear Power Women,Volunteers and Partners

I regret to inform you that our ground-breaking date for 8180 Ash Street has been postponed to the fall of 2015 due to the municipal application process.

Unfortunately, the feedback received from the community on house design and vehicle manoeuverability in parking areas has resulted in the denial of our Development Variance Permit application; thus forcing us to reconsider the calendar for our build in Richmond.

Also, we have been instructed by the City of Richmond to further our consultation with the local community. Hence, we will be holding a Public Information Meeting on May 12th at Debeck Elementary School, 8600 Ash Street from 6:30 to 8:00pm.

We will resubmit our application before the Development Permit Panel on June 24th and before City Council on July 13th.

I take this opportunity to personally thank you for your continuous support and patience.  We are thrilled by the interest our new build project has garnered. All across Metro Vancouver, Power Women and their supporters are taking a stand for affordable homeownership.

Though we are eager to break ground and put families into homes fast, we understand that sometimes the municipal approval process can be challenging. We are now more than ever determined to address all issues and inquiries in order to allow for a build date in late fall.

We thank you for your continuous support and patience and look forward to seeing you on our build site.

 

Sincerely,

Tim Clark

CEO

Whisky Wisemen
DIY with Jillian Harris
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Thank you to Women Build ambassador and fabulous interior designer Jillian Harris for giving our Women Build participants and fundraisers tips on how to spruce up their home designs during an intimate setting at our Burnaby ReStore-Enterprise location (7977 Enterprise Street).

For those who couldn't make it, here are some of Jillian's golden nuggets:

 

1. Give your space history

Modern is great but modern can date. Give your home an eclectic feel by blending old and new. After all, your rooms should be timeless, not stark.

2. Be bold, use colour

Not everything needs to be white. Consider keeping some antique pieces in their original state. It will give the room a sense of story and soul that can be shared.

3. Mix and match

There is no one way about design. Incorporate patterns and textures from your travels. Be expressive and explorative and forget about whether it goesor not with anything else. Ultimately, your designs are about you!

4. If you don't love it, leave it

Don't be married to designs you once liked if you've lost the connection. Be brave and consider replacing items that no longer serve your esthetic or have function. And donate what you don’t need to Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver’s ReStores.

 

For more tips by Jillian, click here.

For images from the Jillian Harris DIY event at our Burnaby ReStore-Enterprise Street location, click here.

Thank you to everyone who came out to support this event, including Women Build ambassadors Fiona Forbes and Kerry Sauriol, Shell Busey, Monica Busey-Ballard and Samantha and Kathy Van Gogh.

Habitat for Humanity
It's Official!
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March 16th marks the official opening of our newest ReStore at 7977 Enterprise Street. Exciting times! The soft opening is on March 9th, so feel free to come by and shop, donate or volunteer then as well. Now until the end of March, bring a sellable item to donate and get 20% off your purchase. What we sell helps build homes locally for working families. We look forward to seeing you all and thank you for your continued support.

Best,

The Habitat Greater Vancouver team

Miranda Thorne
Celebrating 20 Years
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Thank you to our volunteer, Briea Mainwaring, for designing our 20th anniversary logo. Here's to building homes and hope for another 20! 

Miranda Thorne
Ash Street Designed by ABBARCH Architecture Inc.
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Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver (HFHGV) builds safe and decent homes, but we couldn’t do it without the help of our community partners like ABBARCH Architecture Inc.  After learning about our Richmond Ash Street project, they jumped on board and offered their design services at no cost to HFHGV. 

“We didn’t have to think about the opportunity too much,“ says David O’Sheehan, a principal of the firm, “one of our suppliers, Ledcor, contacted us to see if we would be interesting in helping Habitat for Humanity. It’s a good project, we like the site.  We’ll see it through to the end, doing whatever it takes to get it there.”

O’Sheehan and his team are now leading the design for the Richmond Ash Street project, working with HFHGV and the City of Richmond to finalize the 6 single-family homes and adjoining rental units.

The firm has supported a number of charities over the years, participating in fundraisers, galas, The BC Ride to Conquer Cancer, downtown east side initiatives, and other local causes.  They love to give back. This time, it’s something a little closer to home.  “We’re excited to get involved by swinging a hammer.  We actually get to help build what we have designed,” said Aaron Urion, an associate working on the project.

But before the staff can help build, Habitat will need the city’s approval on the designs. 

At the initial meeting with the City of Richmond’s planning department, the drawings presented require some adjustments due to the complex issues surrounding zoning and permitting. ABBARCH went back to the drawing board and HFHGV and the ABBARCH team will be presenting their new plans later this month.

Describing themselves as “architects with a modest ego”, they work with a low-key approach focused on getting the job done well.  They’re not hung up on one type of design, but rather, are adaptable and flexible to solve any problems for their client, the municipality, and the end user. 

Their emphasis on quality and high standard practices has not gone unnoticed.  ABBARCH has grown into one of Canada’s leading architectural firms with offices in Vancouver, Edmonton, and Toronto.  Currently celebrating their 35th anniversary, ABBARCH works with some of the biggest businesses in the world: IKEA, Wal-Mart Canada, and The Cadillac Fairview Corporation, to name a few.  

The firm had humble beginnings in the retail sector, starting with two founding partners. It experienced steady growth up until 2000 when a change in partnership was a catalyst for exponentially growth. Today, ABBARCH Architecture Inc, with the leadership of founding partner Michael Burton-Brown, has over 100 staff and is one ofCanada’s highest producing Architecture firms in the country.

We couldn’t be more appreciative of the support and brilliance ABBARCH Architecture Inc. continues to give our Richmond Ash Street Project.  We’re all looking forward to our build days together, commencing later this year.

Learn more about ABBARCH Architecture Inc.

Miranda Thorne
Youth Initiative Tackles Housing Market
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Local youth make a difference!

Thank you to the grade 8 students of Ecole Andre-Piolat for tackling our current housing market using math (by mapping out income vs. affordable housing on a grid over time) and contemplating what we can do here, at home. The students also raised $77.65 towards Habitat Greater Vancouver. We are proud of their contribution, their thirst for knowledge and desire to help,  and relish in their community spirit. All the best!

To donate to Habitat Greater Vancouver, please click hereIf you'd like to volunteer with Habitat, sign up today.

Habitat for Humanity
Congratulations are in order!
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The Genworth Canada's Meaning of Home Contest winner has been announced. A big round of applause for Tyler, 11 years-old, from Airdrie, AB for taking first place and awarding his local Habitat affiliate with the $60,000 grand prize. Way to go! And many congratulations to the six runner-ups, who each contributed $5,000 to their local affiliate, one of which is ours. Great job Ashley and all grade 4, 5 and 6 children who participated. Your community spirits are remarkable. We're proud of you all.

Miranda Thorne
Hot Off the Press
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Our Women Build campaign, Power Women Power Tools, is getting some buzz online and off. Thanks to CTV News Vancouver and anchor Norma Reid (who's also a Women Build ambassador!) for the piece on November 18 part of the 11:30PM edition. And a kind thank you to all the media personalities who came to support our launch event. Here are a few articles in print and online to share:

Vancouver Observer

bcliving.ca

notable.ca 

Darpan Magazine

Vancouver Courier

CBC Radio's The Early Edition (starts at 2:39-)

Photobooth images from the event are on our Facebook page.

 

Women Build is powered by P&G.

Habitat for Humanity
Our Story: Part III
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...Continued from Part II

During the Phase 1 build, the organization was noticing businesses becoming much more risk adverse and funds were drying up.  Gloria had seen the value of the ReStore with other affiliations and promised her reluctant Board that she could set up the store without tapping into any of HFHGV current funds or volunteer resources. 

With the Boards approval, Gloria set up a new committee, went to BCIT for assistance in developing a 3-year business plan, and started a location search.  In 2002, the same year as the completion of Phase 1, HFHGV opened its doors to its first ReStore in Burnaby. In the first year, the hope was for the ReStore to break even, but by year-end the business netted $300,000. 

Feeling confident that the organization was in a solid position with a building plan, funding channels and community resources, in 2004, Gloria Levi, Board Chair, stepped down from the organization due to health issues.  HFHGV hired an Executive Director, Anneke Rees, to lead the organization.  Under the new leadership, the organization completed Phase 2 (2004), Phase 3 (2006), Phase 4 (2008), Phase 5 (2011), and opened the second ReStore in Vancouver in 2006.  Tim Wake took over in 2011 as CEO and closed on the Cordova project with Westbank and Vancity before passing the reins over to Tim Clark in 2012, the current CEO of HFHGV.  2013 was a pinnacle year with the opening of the third ReStore in North Vancouver and the completion of the final phase, Phase 6, of Government Street.

In total, 27 families with 43 children call 8745 Government Street home.  

At the dedication celebration for Phase 6, Gloria Levi was awarded the first Honourary Life Membership Award. She is without a doubt the soul of our affiliation.  Her passion, energy and vision made it possible for HFHGV to celebrate incredible accomplishments over the years.  She provided a strong foundation for us to build on, year after year.

Today, the organization continues to foster relationships with influential community partners and individual volunteers to evolve and grow our build site and ReStore operations.  HFHGV has expansion plans for ReStores to open in all the major markets in the lower mainland, with even bigger aspirations for our builds.  As we carry out our mission to end the cycle of poverty and advocate for affordable homeownership, HFHGV’s efforts are focused on building more homes, faster, for low-income hard-working families.

Miranda Thorne