Guillermo is excited for Christmas. But the young boy who loves Lego and Star Wars already has the best present he could ask for—a home. Guillermo and his parents, Nelly and Armando, have known homelessness. But now, they have the safety and security of a home. “It’s great, it’s a big difference,” says Armando from the family’s new living room at Columbus Place, an affordable and supported housing property owned by the RESOLVE Campaign’s Partner, Bishop O’Byrne Housing Association (BOBHA).
The family lived at Inn from the Cold for eight months, after Armando lost his job. His wife has a medical condition and is unable to work, leaving the family destitute. “We are very grateful to Inn from the Cold,” he says. “But a shelter is not the right place for our son, or any kid.”
As one of RESOLVE’s nine Partners, BOBHA agrees. Having traditionally housed older adults only, BOBHA has also opened its doors to adults and small families with low income as well.
Armando is working again but his wages aren’t high enough to pay market rent and support his family Through RESOLVE, however, BOBHA will build another 108 units allowing more adults and families like the Valencia’s to exit shelters and find a stable and affordable place to call home.
The first family of Columbus Place received a warm reception when they moved in and have called Columbus Place home for three years and counting. Since then, BOBHA has welcomed several more families into the building which has created a very warm and inclusive community for all. The seniors in the building continue to embrace the families that have moved in. “They’re very friendly, especially with my son,” says Armando. “He’s the king right now. They bring him cookies and everything.” Inna, one of the senior tenants, says, “They’re a lovely family. The boy is very polite.”
There are over 3,000 Calgarians currently experiencing homelessness, and more than 14,000 households at extreme risk of becoming homeless. RESOLVE was established to help create the affordable rental homes with support services that are homes needed to help get Calgary’s Plan to End Homeless across the finish line. The RESOLVE Campaign will sunset on March 31, 2018.
You can help to make home a reality for families like Valencia’s this holiday season.
To find out more information or to donate, visit the RESOLVE website, www.resolvecampaign.com to learn more. Thank you, neighbour.