June 05, 2016 - 3:40 PM
VERNON - The Vernon First Nations Friendship Centre is undertaking a Tiny House Raffle Fundraiser to support the need for increased housing for youth at risk of being homeless.
Construction site preparations at the Allan Brooks Nature Centre are underway.
Barry McDougall, manager of the Kekuli Apartment block owned and operated by the Vernon FNFCS, routinely turns away youth that seek housing and are couch surfing. The Kekuli Apartments owned and operated by the Vernon First Nations Friendship Centre, house youth between 19 and 29 years in 20 apartments.
“We simply need more housing in this and many other communities across Canada," McDougall says.
The Tiny House raffle concept was initiated by one of the Safe House staff Kirk Lessard while discussing ways to generate income for the Vernon FNFCS with Barry McDougall. McDougall suggested building one Tiny Home to raise awareness of the issue and generate revenues to put toward the construction of a 20 unit community village of Tiny Homes.
The 122 Friendship Centres across Canada have mandates to house First Nations living in Urban settings, which now represent 60 per cent of the Aboriginal population in Canada. The Tiny House concept may be part of the answer to create more needed housing. The Friendship Centres are clear that they do not discriminate for any of their services and that all youth in need of housing are eligible to acquire housing, regardless of heritage.
The Vernon FNFCS has partnered with the Allan Brooks Nature Centre to construct the Tiny Home on their lands at the Nature Centre. The partnership falls in line with the mandate of sustainable and environmental education for both agencies.
The Tiny Home project has gained significant financial and community support from many individuals, agencies and companies such as Home Depot, Rouck Brothers Sawmill, Community Futures, Aboriginal Housing Management Association, the Affordable Housing Committee of Vernon, Ray Paul Electric, BTR construction, Lunde architects, 925rDesign, Pacific Timberworks, solar panel companies, Capri Insurance and Elephant Storage to name a few.
Tickets for the raffle will go on sale once the Tiny Home is constructed in July over a two week period by volunteer teams of professional builders and workers. It will be on display at the Allan Brooks Nature Centre all of August and will be transferred to the IPE fair in Armstrong and raffled off on the last day of the fair.
“We are hoping to generate enough money to help launch the planning construction for the 20 unit Tiny Home community at some suitable location in the Vernon area,” Vernon FNFCS board member Maggie King says. “There is the old saying, go big or go home… you may as well think big and build 20 Tiny Homes for youth to go home to."
McDougall encourages those interested in volunteering for build teams; or want to donate financially; or offer materials, to contact him at 250 306 3275 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next step is to assemble the volunteer teams to build the Tiny Home. Standby for that announcement coming soon.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016