SingleKey Partners with Raising the Roof to Fight Homelessness
We are thrilled to announce that we’ve partnered with Raising the Roof, a Toronto-based non-profit organization recognized as a national leader in homelessness prevention.
For over 25 years, Raising the Roof has delivered effective social programs and fundraising campaigns to curb homelessness in Canada. They also help raise awareness about the issue and passionately engage in open dialogue with communities and public/private institutions to implement long-term solutions.
We’ll be engaging in various promotional activities to bring attention to the organization’s campaigns and projects, helping to spread the word about the solid work they do. We’ll also be active volunteers, supporting them in their noble mission of squashing homelessness across Canada.
Why we support Raising the Roof’s mission
Being in the business that we’re in, we work closely with landlords, but we understand the needs of tenants as well. Tenants come from various backgrounds and circumstances, but they all share a common goal: finding a place to call home.
For some, however, acquiring a safe, stable and affordable home isn’t always easy or possible. Due to a wide range of factors, often outside of their control, they may be unable to secure this basic need.
Here are some startling statistics about homelessness in Canada:
- About 235,000 people experience homelessness each year
- On any given night, 35,000 people experience homelessness
- Young people aged 16 – 24 make up 20% of the homeless population
- Aboriginal people are over-represented in the homeless population – 1 in 4 identify as Aboriginal or First Nations
- Children and families increasingly make up a growing segment of the homeless population:
- 10% of Canadian families live below the low-income cut-off
- 4% of Canadian children live in poverty
Raising the Roof has pledged to help such individuals and families. They do so by offering programs aimed at upskilling and constructing affordable housing through partnerships with local agencies and sponsors.
We believe that all people deserve access to adequate housing and a chance to improve their lives. As allies of Raising the Roof, we hope to contribute to their efforts to create long-lasting solutions to homelessness.
How Raising the Roof helps to combat homelessness across Canada
Raising the Roof is an organization marked by hard work, dedication, generosity, and compassion. Their tireless commitment to tackling homelessness in Canada is evident in the programs they run.
The iconic Toque Campaign is among the organization’s initiatives, which has raised an astounding $10 million for over 200 homeless prevention programs.
In 2018, the organization launched the Reside Program, a pilot project based on a successful model from the UK. The program aims to acquire and renovate vacant or under-used real estate properties into affordable housing units.
After launching the program, the organization found that most vacant properties were in desperate need of repair. In the process, they also discovered an excellent opportunity to provide hands-on construction training for individuals struggling to secure employment.
To kickstart the program, Raising the Roof partnered with Building Up, a GTA-based social enterprise contractor that trains and employs people facing barriers to employment.
The organization offers work opportunities, training, and career support to women, Indigenous people, newcomers, visible minorities, people with disabilities, at-risk youth, individuals with past incarceration records, and many others.
Building Up pays all trainees for their work through the organization, helping to remove a significant barrier to participation.
Participants begin the program in the classroom and workshop. They go through eight weeks of soft skills (math, literacy, job skills) and trades skill training as preparation. Then, they receive hands-on experience on job sites to practice what they’ve learned.
The training is personable, with individualized wraparound support for each trainee. For example, if a trainer doesn’t have a driver’s license, they receive assistance acquiring it and purchasing a vehicle. Thus, they can then travel to job sites inaccessible by public transit.
Through the Reside program, Raising the Roof has completed several housing projects. As a result, many previously homeless people now have access to safe and affordable housing. In addition, 125 people who worked on making these homes move-in ready, who were at risk of being homeless themselves, now enjoy well-paid, stable careers in the construction industry.
Raising the Roof is currently scaling up the Reside program intending to complete 5,000 units over the next ten years across Canada. Their efforts will help provide housing and employment opportunities for many vulnerable people.
This year, Raising the Roof is starting property renovation projects in Winnipeg, Sudbury, and Orillia. The projects will provide hands-on construction training for at least 120 people, with the support of social enterprise contractors. And once construction is complete, many people who are currently homeless will have access to a safe place to live.
We’re honoured to partner with Raising the Roof and help stem the cycle of poverty that grips so many people across Canada.
If Raising the Roof’s mission resonates with you, we encourage you to visit its website. Here, you can find more information about the organization and the inspiring work it does to enrich the lives of those struggling with homelessness. Consider donating, becoming an active volunteer, or simply helping to spread their message. Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to their newsletter for news on upcoming events!