Join us

Feb 5: Covenant House to Operate Vancity Place

Covenant House Chosen to Assume Operation of Vancity Place for Youth

Vancouver, February 5, 2001 - The Vancity Place for Youth Society has chosen Covenant House to assume responsibility for operation, funding and governance of Vancity Place for Youth, a 50-studio-unit residence for street-involved youth on West Pender Street in Vancouver's downtown eastside.

"Covenant House was chosen for their strong track record with street-involved youth, their approach - which helps kids move from the street to a better life - and a solid financial base to support Vancity Place in the future," said George Scott, chair of Vancity Place for Youth Society's Board of Directors. "We believe they have the experience and resources necessary to realize our original vision for Vancity Place for Youth."

Vancity Place for Youth was created through a three-year fundraising campaign by Vancity staff, with donations from members of the credit union and matching donations from Vancity Credit Union and the Vancity Community Foundation. Additional financial support for the project came from the Real Estate Foundation of B.C. and the City of Vancouver. The facility opened in 1998.

"The Vancity Place for Youth Society has had many discussions over the past several months about how to take Vancity Place for Youth further towards the vision we originally set out for it," said Scott. "Vancity's plan was to create safe, affordable housing for street-involved youth, supported by programming and training to assist them to live independently."

"While we succeeded in the first part of that vision, the board concluded in 2000 that it was time to reach out to community service agencies and get them involved," he said. "Covenant House understands the needs of street-involved youth, and has the capacity to help Vancity Place reach its full potential as a housing resource and support centre."

In November, 2000, Vancity Place for Youth Society issued a request for proposals (RFP) for an agency that would take on responsibility for the operation, funding and governance of the youth residence. A selection committee - made up of representatives of Vancity Credit Union, the Vancity Place for Youth board, and the City of Vancouver - reviewed the proposals and made a recommendation to the Society's board for approval.

The board accepted the selection committee's recommendation on January 31, 2001 and has approved the transfer of Vancity Place for Youth to Covenant House. The St. James Community Services Society has operated Vancity Place for Youth on behalf of the Vancity Place for Youth Society since 1998, and will continue to operate the residence until Covenant House assumes responsibility on April 1, 2001.

"We would like to thank St. James for their incredible work at Vancity Place for Youth since the doors were first opened in 1998," said Scott. "Through their stewardship, the foundation for Vancity Place's success has been firmly established. Together, Vancity and St. James provided shelter and support for dozens of street-involved youth, and that's something we're very proud of."

Vancity is Canada's largest credit union, with $6.9 billion in assets, 266,000 members, and 39 branches throughout Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Victoria. Vancity owns Citizens Bank of Canada, serving members across the country by telephone, ATM, and the Internet. Both Vancity and Citizens Bank are guided by a commitment to corporate social responsibility, and to improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work.