Oak Bay’s Threshold Housing Society home at capacity

New housing for young people was a full the day it opened

Threshold Housing’s Brooke MacDonald (left)

A bright and sunny home on Granite offers young people a fresh start in Oak Bay.

When the Threshold Housing Society’s newest home opened Sept. 1, it was not only full, the society was at 100 per cent capacity across all four of its homes, said Mark Muldoon, executive director.

“Given the lack of youth housing and quality of youth housing, we’re very happy,” he said.

Threshold targets youth age 16 to 24 in need of safe, secure and supported housing while they go to school or gain experience in the workforce. Youth are offered up to two years of transitional housing and programs. Threshold Housing operates three other facilities, Holly House, Mitchell House and Forrest House, which lies just outside of Oak Bay’s borders.

Safety means more than a door and a lock, Muldoon said.

“Our big goal now is to create a community in here of respect, inclusion, so the youth feel safe,” he said. “You can put a lock on a door but they have to feel safe.”

The society nearly achieved the goal of $100,000 for renovations to the building on Granite Street that was originally built as seniors’ housing and until two years ago was used as an Easter Seals home for families needing a place to stay during medical procedures in Victoria.

“This feels like home and is a good address,” said Jo-Ann Roberts, advancement and community relations for Threshold Housing Society.

Each room has a small fridge, dresser, bed and small balcony with a shared kitchen, bathrooms and media room. Residents are encouraged to socialize and congregation is already common in the kitchen as a hub, says one staffer.

“We’re very happy with the transformation; it was a true team effort,” Muldoon said. “It’s been a very community-minded effort to make it possible. From what I can see the neighbourhood is happy.”

Rotary Club of Oak Bay cleared away the overgrown garden to reveal a tidy back yard and revamped furniture in the activity room. Oak Bay United Church summer campers created a ‘welcome home’ banner and inviting placemats for the home.

Coast Capital Savings contributes a multi-year grant “to keep the house sustained. We can’t sustain it alone on rent,” he said. The organization that provides housing for young people, signed a five-year lease to use  the church-owned building adjacent to Oak Bay United Church.

This summer, Home Depot volunteers swept a soft teal and white across the halls and covered the entire interior in a fresh coat of paint within six hours one day.

“They see that to invest in youth today you’re enriching tomorrow,” Muldoon said of the corporate help.

Six years ago Threshold had only one home, they now have four that offer varying settings.

“We have a housing continuum and that’s nice to have,” Muldoon said. “When we see a client coming in, we can see what’s the best fit.”

With a live-in person in a lower suite and life-skills programs offered, the youth are entrenched in trustworthy adults. These are young people who really want to keep their housing, Muldoon added.

“We’re trying to encourage they all have a say in what happens here,” he said. “They really want this and they know it makes a difference.”

 

Just Posted

Salmon Fest swims into Oak Bay Saturday

Family event raises money for Kiwanis Pavillion

Oak Bay High washes cars for kids

Annual Tour de Rock fundraising car wash hits the lot Saturday at Oak Bay High

Greater Victoria-based digital crisis line sees spike in chats

Service allows youth to chat with volunteers through instant messaging services, text message

UVic chemist claims international prize for ‘reversible’ preservative

University of Victoria green chemist and civil engineer Heather Buckley led a… Continue reading

Oak Bay volunteer and sustainability professional throws his hat in the ring for municipal election

‘We can retain what makes Oak Bay great while planning for a future that’s even better,’ says Appleton

Reader photos: Greater Victoria’s hazy skies

Lingering smoke from wildfires contributed to the province issuing a smoky skies bulletin

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 14

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

Women-owned businesses generate $68,000 less revenue than men’s: survey

When Dionne Laslo-Baker sought a bank loan to expand her burgeoning organic popsicle and freezies business in 2014, she was “shocked” by the feedback she received from one of the bankers.

Hedley frontman’s alleged sex offences case returns to court

Jacob Hoggard faces three sexual assault-related charges will return to a Toronto courtroom this morning.

Climate change likely to cause more sewage leaks, says environment minister

More than one hundred municipal wastewater systems did not report how much raw sewage overflowed from their pipes in 2017.

Priests molested 1,000 children in Pennsylvania, report says

The “real number” of abused children and abusive priests might be higher since some secret church records were lost and some victims never came forward.

Defiant as Trump rages, Omarosa says she won’t be silenced

Manigault Newman declared she will not be silenced by President Donald Trump, remaining defiant as her public feud with her former boss shifted from a war of words to a possible legal battle.

Death toll hits 39 in Italy bridge collapse; blame begins

The collapse of the Morandi Bridge sent dozens of cars and three trucks plunging as much as 45 metres (150 feet) to the ground Tuesday.

Most Read