Thousands of dollars have already been raised for an upcoming plan that aims to put in place a “permanent and sustainable system” to deal with homelessness in London, Ontario.
The plan was announced last week by Mayor Josh Morgan during his first-ever State of the City address.
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Attached to the news of the plan was the unveiling of a $25 million donation from a local family who wishes to remain anonymous.
The unnamed family has offered an additional $5 million for the upcoming plan, provided community donations can match that amount.
An online fundraiser raising funds for the upcoming plan has been set up by the London Community Foundation (LCF) in the meantime.
On Monday morning, LCF director of philanthropy Diana Silva told PKBNEWS that more than 90 people had donated online totaling $16,000.
The number more than quadrupled on Monday afternoon when Libro Credit Union announced in a press release that it had donated $50,000 to the cause.
“It’s clearly something so passionate and important (to Londoners). You can just feel it, the community is totally engaged and excited about it,” Silva said.
“It’s beautiful to see where we are and I can only imagine how quickly we’ll hit $5 million.”
Silva added that the current fundraising total reflects non-online options. Donors are permitted to send larger donations by check or by donating securities held by individuals.
The unnamed family wanted the LCF to be in charge of raising $5 million, Silva said.
“That’s what we do, we offer these flexible fund options and high governance management, making sure the money is used for its intended purpose, the money is safe and we follow all the donations,” Silva added.
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News of the upcoming plan has sparked excitement among local advocates working directly with homeless people.
Details of the plan won’t be released until next month, and that’s when Silva expects the fundraising campaign to really start to gain momentum.
“People considering making larger contributions are asking these tougher questions – how is this handled? How is it deployed? Silva said.
“I encourage the community to pay attention to the Health and Homelessness Summit report due out in February and to get people really engaged.”
Morgan, the Mayor of London, said the Health and Homelessness Summit still has a meeting this week before the next plan on homelessness can be finalized and a report delivered to City Hall .
The summit, which Morgan says contains more than 200 Londoners representing 60 different groups and organisations, is due to meet on Wednesday.
Those wishing to donate to the upcoming plan can do so at FundForChange.ca.
— with files from Amy Simon of Global
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