Our community partner and tenant, Aunt Leah’s Place, was named one of the Top 10 Impact Charities in Canada by Charity Intelligence.

For 30 years Aunt Leah’s has been supporting children and youth in the foster care system, as well as those who have aged out of the system at the age of 19. They provide educational support, permanent housing to youth and young mothers in need of support.

Charity Intelligence analyses charities based on their social return on investment and found that for every dollar Aunt Leah’s’ spends, its social impact is exponentially greater.

“We showed up because we continue giving youth services beyond 19 and that has manifested in certain outcomes like avoiding homelessness, helping young women who are mothers maintaining child custody, which keeps families together and interrupts the intergenerational effect of the foster care system that we see,” said Drew Stewart, Development Manager at Aunt Leah’s Place.

“We have also improved high school outcomes significantly among our foster care youth,” he adds. “On average only a third of foster care youth graduate on time, compared to 84 per cent of kids in the general population. We’ve raised graduation rates to 60 per cent through our support programs, which makes a big difference.”

In 2013, Central City Foundation purchased the building in which Aunt Leah’s main hub operates, as part of our Social Purpose Real Estate (SPRE) mandate. We maintain the building, heavily subsidize their rent and give additional support when needed.

“We provide a deep subsidy upwards of $90,000 a year, as well as the security of tenure of being a Central City Foundation community tenant,” said Jennifer Johnstone, Central City Foundation CEO and president. “It gives Aunt Leah’s and other tenants in our buildings a stronger foundation and strengthens them in a way where they can take risks, develop new programs and develop their own asset base because they have a strong home base. All of that translates into a stronger organization well beyond the value of the rental subsidy itself.”

For Aunt Leah’s, being a Central City Foundation tenant also allows them to plan well into the future, which they were unable to do previously.

“For nearly 30 years, Aunt Leah’s wandered the desert every three years, moving from office to office,” said Stewart. “What Central City Foundation does by providing secure and subsidized tenancy is huge. For the first time our organization has stability and are able to plan things five, seven and 10 years into the future. It has really changed things for us. Everything has become more efficient and the numbers we are able to serve have increased as well.”

We are proud to be community partners with Aunt Leah’s and congratulate them on their success. Learn more about Social Purpose Real Estate and our buildings.