Homeward Trust hosted a reception last night to celebrate its new location on the 6th floor at 10242 105th Street, and to share its 2008 Annual Report. The past year has been described as “a landmark year”, the first under the banner of “Homeward Trust” (it used to be known as the Edmonton Housing Trust Fund). They’ve done some great work, and I think 2009 is shaping up to be an even better year for the organization!
The new office space is fantastic. It’s designed in such a way that you can walk around the entire floor in a giant square. They’ve broken the space up into sections, each with a specific focus. Numerous drink and food tables were setup throughout the office for the reception, and everyone was encouraged to explore. The office has some great views of downtown Edmonton!
The program started at 5:30pm with some entertainment, followed by a few speeches and award presentations. Mayor Stephen Mandel and MLA for Edmonton-Ellerslie Naresh Bhardwaj both gave remarks. Among the other VIPs in attendance were Councillor Ben Henderson, MLA for Edmonton-Calder Doug Elniski, MLA for Edmonton-Centre Laurie Blakeman, and City Manager Al Mauer.
The annual report for 2008 isn’t online yet, but I suspect it’ll be posted soon. Here are some highlights:
- In 2008, 133 Edmonton families were homeless. 25% more Edmonton children were without a home than in 2006.
- 59% of Edmonton’s homeless suffer from mental illness.
- 3079 people were identified as homeless in 2008, an increase of 18% from 2006. More than 200 volunteers and 180 agencies worked on the count.
- More than 1500 people attended Homeless Connect in October.
- Homeward Trust allocated nearly $20 million for capital and support services in 2008.
Additionally, five Homeward Trust funded projects opened in 2008:
- Habitat for Humanity Norwood ($520,000)
- Our House Addictions Recovery Centre ($2,800,000)
- John Howard Society The Loft ($580,500)
- Catholic Social Services Rotary Centre ($1,526,548)
- Women Building Futures Training Centre Reno ($903,000)
I thought Jon Hall, Chair of Homeward Trust Edmonton, said it best: “What our annual report can’t show is the difference we’ve made in people’s lives.”
Kudos to Susan McGee, Executive Director of Homeward Trust Edmonton, and her team for a great event and a fantastic year! You can see the rest of my photos here. For information on volunteering with Homeward Trust, click here.