On Tuesday December 15th, after some careful deliberation and several amendments being proposed, Vancouver’s city council voted with only one opposing vote in favor of a $1.1 million capital grant for Gordon Neighbourhood House.
Gordon Neighbourhood House’s current location is 30 years old, and as such is at the end of its current life cycle. Management has been focused on securing funds from the City of Vancouver, the Federal Government, The Home Depot Foundation, The Alexandra Foundation and the Central City Foundation in order to update and maintain the current site. The bulk of the fund raised will address the building envelope restoration, but will also include new windows throughout and the introduction of gender-neutral bathrooms.
On December 9th, Paul M. Taylor (Executive Director of Gordon Neighbourhood House) and Dan Watson (member of the steering committee for the Young Ideas Initiative) spoke to city council in support of the grant, while other GNH staff were on hand for moral support. This was after a flurry of letters of support from a variety of individuals and community flooded Council just days before the special meeting.
Thank you to all of the donors and volunteers, especially our friends at Perkins + Will who will continue to work with GNH on this existing next phase of GNH’s rejuvenation.
2016 will certainly be an exciting year for GNH, not only will phase 2 of the restoration begin, but there is also the planned opening of an additional Attic Thrift Store on Davie Street.
For the past 20 years the West End Neighbourhood of Vancouver has passionately supported a holiday toy drive. The campaign supports West End families who struggle to secure gifts for their children during the holidays. This year the Attic Thrift Store at Gordon Neighbourhood House is coordinating the initiative in a unique way. Rather than assigning gifts to families based on gender or age, the toys are made available at a very low-cost in the Attic Thrift Store on Broughton Street. This promotes a more dignified experience, where parents leave knowing that they not only selected and paid for an item for their child, but also they’ve become a donor to Gordon Neighbourhood House. 100% of the proceeds from sales at the Attic Thrift Store support the programs, initiatives and activities of Gordon Neighbourhood House.
“As a child in a low income family I can still recall sifting though a bag marked ‘6 boy’ that was full of an odd assortment of toys and clothing. It certainly didn’t feel like the experience I saw people having on television and more often than not the clothes didn’t fit and I never really developed an affinity for Hot Wheels toy cars. At Gordon Neighbourhood House we focus on creating dignified experiences for parents to select and purchase the items that they think their kids would enjoy for $1-$5/item.” recalls Gordon Neighbourhood House’s executive director Paul Taylor.
“The toy drive is a highly anticipated event amongst our team – it is great to see our neighbours select an appropriate toy for their child, and feel empowered doing so,” remarked thrift store volunteer Mojgan Abolhassani.
This is not unusual at The Attic however; everyday the thrift store provides thousands of high quality items at affordable prices. Over the 20 years that the store has been in operation on the second floor of Gordon Neighbourhood House, the thrift shop has saved West End residents millions of dollars, and has recycled tonnes of donated clothing and household items.
Gordon Neighbourhood House staff and volunteers are thrilled to help this amazing initiative.
“We see the happiness and joy on the faces of our customers, and are excited to continue this worthwhile tradition for another year,” said Agata Feetham, the Program Director at Gordon Neighbourhood House.
On Saturday December 12th from 3:00pm to 4:30pm Gordon Neighbourhood House is hosting a lantern-making workshop at the Jim Deva Plaza, followed by a lantern procession to the Denman Place Mall at 5:00pm as part of the Lumiere Festival . Staff and volunteers will be on site to accept donated toys for the toy drive.