It's a Good Day at Kettle On Burrard

March 31, 2015 marked the official opening celebration of the Kettle On Burrard, located at 1134 Burrard Avenue, one of the City Site projects built to help alleviate homelessness in Vancouver.  The project is also home to Directions Youth Services Centre, a 24/7 facility offering a wide range of resources and services, helping youth find optimism, to make it back to their families and home communities or obtain safe, affordable housing, education programs and/or stable employment.

Terra began working with the Society in 2008 to see the successful completion of this much needed project.  Kettle On Burrard offers permanent supported housing for individuals who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or precariously housed in places such as SROs.  The goal is to give each tenant the opportunity to thrive in a stable and safe home environment.

As Jane Thornthwaite, MLA for North Vancouver-Seymour said in her speech, "140 people now have a warm place to call home".

Maria Holman, Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Kettle Society welcomed the assembled dignitaries and guests and described how one young inaugural resident of the building was recently able to transition from her unit to independent housing, saying "that is just what we like to see".  Nancy Keough, Executive Director of the Society announced "Kettle On Burrard is already beginning to show an incredible impact on this community".

Councillor Kerry Jang spoke of the recently conducted 2015 Homeless Count in the city, "a real wake-up call", which has shown a dramatic shift in the homeless population.  Many more young people who are living with mental health and/or addictions issues are becoming homeless and many are new arrivals to Vancouver.  40 of the units at Kettle On Burrard are specifically for people aged 25 years and under, with 10 units for people aged 17 to 19.

Final word went to a resident of the building, Ralph, who stated that he was "honoured to be living here".  Ralph relayed how he had to learn to adjust to living in the building, saying "it's not the street way" but expressed gratitude: "I don't have to live that way anymore.  I turned my life around, it has given me hope, given me the opportunity to grow".