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Helping Not-For-Profits Make it Through a Rainy Day

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“More often than not, our former financial institution would say, ‘These are our rules and you have to stay within your credit limit.’ But Vancity says, ‘Let’s see if there is a way for us to help you with this issue.’” – Ross Stewart, executive director of Marineview Housing Society.

Ross Stewart, executive director of Marineview Housing Society, which runs programs to house people coping with mental illness, found the non-flexible approach to lending that his former financial institution had didn’t support Marineview’s business reality. So when Ross found out that Vancity understood Marineview as a not-for-profit organization, he switched financial institutions.

Vancity takes into consideration that not-for-profit societies like Marineview often receive funds from sometimes slow-to-pay government ministries, which might put these organizations temporarily over their credit limit. Such flexibility gives these not-for-profit societies peace of mind so that they can focus on helping people. Through Vancity, Marineview also benefits from being part of the BC Not-for-Profit Housing Association Pool Funds, which gives it higher deposit interest.

In 1975, Marineview was the first mental health housing society established on the North Shore, to do its job of supplying affordable, well-managed accommodations. From its first 10-person group home in West Vancouver, the society has added several facilities, including a second 24-hour staffed facility. Marineview Housing Society currently has two 24-hour licensed houses, one 15-hour-per-day staffed house and a 24-unit apartment building for independent living. Since 1980 Marineview has added three more houses, which are made available to individuals who can live more independently.