Over two days last weekend, 85 volunteer tradespeople and labourers got a start on improvements to Anawim House at the corner of Caledonia and Vancouver streets. The multi-weekend job includes an expansion of the arts and crafts room, the creation of a wellness room and a bike repair shop, upgrades to the deck and the installation of skylights. Externally, the project will include a new coat of paint and landscaping.
Paul Latour, founder and executive director of Hero Work, says the organization relies on volunteers to see these projects through.
“We’ll be here for the next two weekends, and we can always use more carpenters,” he said.
Terry Edison-Brown, executive director of Anawim House, sounded hugely appreciative of the Hero Work effort and way people are coming together to help an organization that works together to help the homeless.
The residential day house, operating drop-in and residential programs from this site since 1991, assists Victoria’s homeless and those living in poverty, welcoming people who need a place to connect, or seek counselling services or just to take a shower. Edison-Brown said the goal is to teach people how to live, work and play in a new way.
“Victoria has a homeless problem, obviously,” he said. “But we need to stop warehousing people. We need smaller residences like this where we can say to people – come work with us, beside us.”
Hero Work’s renovation at Anawim House continues through the weekends of Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, and Oct. 7 and 8. To sign up to volunteer, visit herowork.com and click on How to Help.