Posts By: admin

On December 10th, do your Christmas shopping at Ten Thousand Villages! Here is why.

On December 10, 2011, Ten Thousand Villages at 1976 Oak Bay Avenue will be having a fundraiser on behalf of the youth staying at Mitchell House.  Maria Lyons, the store Manager, will be graciously donating %15 of any purchase made that day to the needs of Mitchell House. Ten Thousand Villages is a great place to do your Christmas shopping with the store being filled with novel exotic items from around the world.  The store will also be ready to accept non-perishable food donations. The most valued food items are: canned fish and soups, pasta and pasta sauce, peanut butter, canned meat, canned vegetables, rice, dried soups, and any treats you can imagine. Thank you Ten Thousand Villages for being a real community supporter!

"Running Home For Youth" Team Wins for Threshold

Under generally sunny skies, The Threshold Housing Society participated in the Charity Pledge Program with the Goodlife Fitness Royal Victoria Marathon on October 9th. The marathon this year saw over 12,000 people run various lengths of the course.

In that mix were several runners who ran with pledges to help Threshold give homes to at-risk youth. Many thanks to Janice MacKinnon (Vancouver), Kerri-Lynn Wilson (Nanaimo), Angie Messereey (Red Deer, Alberta) Mike Woodcock (Victoria), and Kayla Feragen (Victoria) for running like the wind and helping to secure pledges.

Great Run! Kerri-Lynn Wilson
Mike Woodcock and Threshold Marathon Organizer Kyra Henry

Threshold had a booth located on Government Street. It was manned by Board members Richard Couch, Bob Porter, Dan Fraikin and Glen Tadsen. Special thanks to Kyra Henry for doing much of the liaison work with the organizers and supporting the “Running Home for Youth” team. Threshold wishes to acknowledge the generous donation made by Dorrian Porter of California.

Threshold enjoys a day at the fair

 Threshold was happy to be chosen to participate in this year’s Provincial Employees Community Services Fund Fair at the public library on September 14, 2011. The fund is supported by hundreds of provincial employees who donate monthly to various charitable causes in the community. There were some 21 different charities represented this year. The atmosphere was light and festive and the organizers should be congratulated for their hard work. It was gratifying to see how organizations offer a variety of services to the region and how many people are willing to support them. Congratulations to the PECSF.

Many thanks to a long term Threshold staff member

Image of Rick

Rick was a Threshold staff member for over 20 years. We'll miss him!

In August of this year, one of the cornerstones of Threshold left to take advantage of new opportunity out of province. Rick Sandberg, an ordained minister, was on the original board of the Threshold Housing Society in the early 1990s. He also served as the first director of Mitchell House in 1992. Outside of his own ministerial duties, Rick continued to assist Threshold by eventually becoming a weekend supervisor in Mitchell House. Working in street ministry daily, there wasn’t too much of the human condition that Rick had not seen.  It was through such experiences that he brought a lot of compassion and understanding to the young men of Mitchell House.  While Threshold is sad to see Rick leave, we are deeply grateful for his years of heartfelt assistance. One of his last contributions to the Society was to take over the management of our website and it is thanks to him that our site has grown and flourished.  Go well, Rick!

Island of Lost Boys: Threshold Housing’s mission to assist the lost….

On September 14, 2011, Monday Magazine published an article by Danielle Pope about Mitchell House and its residents.  In telling the stories of youths and their struggles, the superb article pulverizes the worn myth that at-risk youth are simply rebellious kids going through a phase. Their stories are as unique as they are as to why they are homeless and arrived on the doorsteps of Mitchell House.  Life is hard for all of us, but much more so if you are a minor without a home, trying to finish school and hold-down a part-time job. The article makes it quite clear just how resilient some youth are in dealing with a lot of uncertainty, lack of support and poverty while trying to grow up. Graham Kelly, the house mentor at Mitchell House, revels in the triumphs he witnesses of young men—so misjudged and dismissed by the community—trying to forge a life out of a painful past.

Graham Kelly, Mitchell House Mentor

Mentioned by several of the young men interviewed, the key factor in helping them along their path was stable housing as opposed couch surfing or even shelters. One resident remarked that “hotel rooms and homeless shelters were my best buds” until he’d had enough and “packed up his shelter belongings and marched himself to the house.” Another youth agreed that stable housing was far better than “walking around with my bag and tent on my back every day, taking showers at the gym and just surviving…” Each youth is filled with such potential and hope. It is the hope of Threshold, through its transitional housing program, to cherish this potential and give it furtile ground to blossom. Like most non-profits, Threshold depends heavily on donations and the good-will of the community to support many youth who aren’t able to support themselves while trying to finish high school. Currently, there are only 16 dedicated beds in a stable housing situation for youth in the Victoria region. Threshold is looking for any support and help in either building or acquiring more homes.

Tribute to a Threshold Supporter

It was with great sadness that we learned of John K. Watson’s sudden death on August 9th, 2011. Mr. Watson had been a long time supporter of Threshold Housing Society, donating regularly to give local youth a chance of having stable housing. In lieu of flowers, donations were requested to be made to Threshold. John believed in community and understood hospitality. He worked for the United Nations and worked in the food service industry for most of his professional life. One of his favourite sayings was “think globally, but act locally.” John truly celebrated life with great enthusiasm and unsurpassed generosity for all. Our deepest condolesences goes to all family members. We trust many others will follow John’s example in acting locally by giving to the least able in their community a hand-up in life.

Thank you, John.

Please Click Here to Donate

Threshold Celebrates Summer and Community

Tony Wick and Ron Hall of the Tri-Ministries (St. David’s by the Sea, St. Peter’s Lakehill and St. Michael’s and All Angels) organized a fabulous barbeque, July 21, at Holly House for the entire Threshold family. It was a wonderful way to acknowledge community partners, supporters and parishioners from the various churches who assist Threshold in achieving its mission. Residents were in attendance as well as Board Members. Music was supplied by Roger Plant. Many thanks to both Remax and Level Ground Trading Coffee for their support. Many thanks as well to Fran McArthur for kicking off the “Quilts for Kids” program through the BC Liquor Stores starting in August. Thank you everyone who made this a very successful and happy event.

New strategies for homeless youth

Dr. Steven Gaetz of York University presented a talk to the Youth Housing Network on July 5, 2011 outlining the Canadian situation with regard to youth homelessness and several initiatives being taken in other jurisdictions around the world. His major message was that all levels of government have to stop looking at youth homelessness in terms of an “emergency (shelter) response” and spend much more in resources in terms of prevention and intervention, that is, preventing youth from becoming homeless and removing youth as quickly as possible from the street.  Dr. Gaetz is the founder of “homelesshub,” a website that acts as a central exchange for networking and homeless research in Canada. Check it out:

Annual General Meeting

The Threshold Housing Society held its 2011 Annual General Meeting on June 22 at Saint John the Divine Rectory. President Richard Couch gave a thorough and thoughtful accounting of the Society over the last year in terms of finances, programs and changes to the constitution.  Reports were also heard from the Treasurer (Bob Porter) and the Executive Director. It was a great opportunity to meet old and new members as well as those wishing to become Board Members.


Congratulations to the Native Friendship Centre Of Victoria

Congratulations to the Native Friendship Centre (Regina Street) on the occasion of their first pole raising ceremony (June 21). It was a colourful affair, attended by hundreds of well-wishers. The Threshold Housing Society is especially proud of one of our residents who is currently staying with us and worked on the pole. The wood is Red Cedar and the pole is Coast Salish in its conception.  The totem embodies the interconnected nature of the world symbolized by the weaving nature of the roots that join together both animal and human figures.