Co:Here has drawn on the experience of Salsbury Community Society and its extensive experience in operating community houses in the neighbourhood. Co:Here invited people to tell us what was important for them in a home and internal workshops were held to clarify vision and develop operational plans and budgets. Neighbourhood consultations provided additional recommendations for the design and fit in the area.

The Co:Here Story

Vision

To foster human flourishing through the creation of affordable housing communities by committing to the care for the whole person.

Mission

To respond to Vancouver’s housing crisis by building an affordable and holistic housing community of 26 units on the southwest corner of Victoria Drive and 1st Avenue East that fosters human flourishing.

Co:Here’s Residents

Co:Here’s residents come from a diversity of backgrounds. All have roots in the Grandview-Woodlands neighbourhood and a desire to be good neighbours to one another. Co:Here’s operating model depends on an income mix and therefore Co:Here Residents come from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. All residents move in with a understanding and desire to build community with people who are different than themselves. CoHere is affordable housing that provides not only a home, but the opportunity to belong to a community. The residents are committed to participating and collective decision-making in community life.

Goals

  • To provide economically sustainable housing for people who are homeless and at risk of homelessness in the Grandview-Woodlands neighbourhood.
  • To create a community that fosters mutual support and the common good among a socio-economically diverse group of residents.
  • To provide housing committed to the reduction of negative environmental impact.
  • To offer a prototype of an alternative, refreshing model of sustainable and affordable housing.

Affordable Housing

Co:Here envisions addressing housing and transformation through community living.

Affordable housing is well-known as one of the biggest challenges facing the homeless and those at-risk-of-homelessness in Vancouver today. However, significant issues that are often overlooked are the feelings of loneliness and isolation that go hand-in-hand with homelessness and poverty. Isolation has been called the hallmark of North American urban poverty and is a problem that cannot be solved by simply putting a roof over someone’s head.

Homelessness, Loneliness & Isolation

BC Non-Profit Housing Association: The Preliminary Data Report for the 2017 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver prepared by BCNPHA and M. Thomson Consulting found 3,605 people homeless in the region-wide count, an increase of 30% from the previous 2014 count.

2018 Vancouver Homeless Count
2017 Metro Vancouver Homeless Count

Application Process & Tenant Selection

Salsbury Community Society oversees the application process and tenant selection and facilitates the shaping, fostering and sustaining spirit of the community. All tenants selected actively participate in and contributes to this unique vision. Please visit Salsbury’s website (salsbury.ca) or contact Salsbury by email (info@salsburycs.ca) for more information.

Community Formation

To create a community that fosters mutual support and the common good among a socio-economically diverse group of residents. This is achieved through a rhythm of life in communal spaces, which fosters a sense of belonging, community, friendship, and a shared stewardship of the building.

Co:Here is home for me. It's a place where we live together and care about one another. It can be a lot of work but it's been worth it every time!

Co:Here Resident

One afternoon our 7 year old son and 9 year old housemate played in a neighbourhood park. Someone asked them whether they were siblings. Our housemate replied, “No…well, we live together and we’re like family, well, … we love each other.”

Neufelds

We tried to construct a dynamic of “family” and community sharing and care within and against a culture of relentless individualism.

Dave