Central City Foundation donors support Vancouver Indigenous families through funding a major renovation of Phil Bouvier Family Centre.
Cindy Pete has dedicated her life to helping Indigenous families raise healthy and happy children. She is an infant development worker with Vancouver Native Health Society and she spends most her days going from home to home to providing support with an Indigenous focus.
Many of the families that Cindy serves are healing from the legacy of residential schools. For over a century, Indigenous children were taken from their homes and communities, and sent to schools where they were not allowed to speak their language, see their parents or learn more about their culture, among other abuses.
The result is a legacy of trauma and social marginalization, as well as a multi-generational breakdown of the family unit. Cindy’s work is to help rebuild strong and healthy Indigenous families by focusing on child development.
Cindy works out of the Phil Bouvier Family Centre (PBFC) in Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood, which is considered one of the lowest income neighbourhoods in Canada. The building serves as a resource hub for inner city Indigenous families, and houses one of the only Indigenous-focused daycares in Canada with space for 49 children.
The building is owned by Central City Foundation, purchased by our donors in 2004, and was due for an upgrade. Our donors funded a renovation of the entire building this year and the result is a clean and welcoming space with new floors, paint, elevator and fixtures. It’s a place where Cindy’s families can feel respected and comfortable.
“I’ve had nothing but positive feedback and it’s so beautiful to hear,” said Cindy. “I can’t believe what a difference a fresh coat of paint and new floors can make. Families want to be here and I want to be here too.”
Part of Central City Foundation’s mandate is to provide space for community organizations through social purpose real estate. The PBFC is one of five properties we own and every one of them is rented to vital organizations at a rate far below market value.
“The reality is without people like Central City Foundation we cannot do this job, because whatever funding we get is not enough to meet the need,” Horacio Valle Torres, programs manager at PBFC.“We do technically pay rent, but it’s almost a symbolic amount because it is probably 80 per cent below market rent, which helps us release some money to fund our programs.”
Our donors not only have purchased the building and funded this recent renovations, they have also been supportive funders along the way, giving grants for children’s toys for the daycare and a mural painted by Indigenous artist, Paul Windsor.
Social purpose real estate is essential to ensuring that communities in need can access resources that may have a transformative impact in their lives, and in the case of PBFC, their children’s lives.
By supporting Central City Foundation you are supporting social purpose real estate and a legacy of building strong communities. Together we build hope.