The Richmond Caring Place is not a hostel; it does not have beds; it does not treat the sick nor counsel the afflicted. So what does it do, and why does it matter?
The Richmond Caring Place exists to provide office space exclusively for non-profit agencies. What Richmond Caring Place does is help numerous non-profit agencies operate hostels and shelters, provide support to those in crisis, raise awareness, and speak for those in need. What Richmond Caring Place does is support non-profit agencies and their dedicated volunteers as they work to improve the lives of Richmond residents and enrich the social fabric of the City.
The Richmond Caring Place is, as far as we know, unique in Canada: it was built from the ground up, for the express purpose of providing first-class commercial office and meeting space for non-profit agencies. Because the Richmond Caring Place Society (which operates the Caring Place) is itself a non-profit, charitable organization, it focuses on providing stable, affordable and predictable office space at rates which are not driven by market forces or profit.
Currently, the Richmond Caring Place houses 12 non-profit agencies and programs. Through those agencies and programs, approximately 1200 volunteers contribute more than 86,000 volunteer hours annually. Every volunteer and every volunteer hour has made Richmond a better place.
Because the Richmond Caring Place is home to so many agencies, those agencies are able to provide their clients with more coordinated, accessible services than they would be able to manage if they were scattered about the City in separate locations. Their common location in the Caring Place allows collaborative programming, access to a collective pool of volunteers, and sharing of information and other resources.
Consider, for example, a single parent, coping with economic hardship, struggling to adequately feed and clothe his or her children, and fighting emotional or physical health problems. That person might come to the Caring Place seeking help from one tenant agency, and find that he or she is able, in fact, to access several — all of which can provide desperately-needed assistance and support.
That is what the Richmond Caring Place does, and that is why it matters.
** If you are interested in volunteering as a Director of the Richmond Caring Place Society, and helping the Caring Place foster and support social services in our city, please contact Sandy McIntosh at (604) 279 7000, or e-mail her at: email@example.com.