At The Kettle Society, we support low-income, homeless and mentally ill people to lead better, happier, healthier lives. Our non-profit group has been operating since 1976. Our current facility is at the corner of Commercial and Venables in the Grandview-Woodland area of East Vancouver, the same neighbourhood where our clients come from. As we discuss in multiple areas of this website, our facility is far too small to appropriately do the work we need it to do, which is why we’re partnering with Boffo Properties to propose creating a 12-storey building with our new facility inside.
What kind of work do we do in the community? A lot of different kinds. We feed people hot meals 365 days a year. We listen to the stories of our clients, and then find them appropriate counselling and support. We welcome homeless people into our drop-in centre where we play cards and bingo, give them coats and warm socks donated to us, and work with them in our skill-building and job- training classes. We host art classes and art events as part of the Eastside Culture Crawl, partly as therapy and partly in to create a gallery of art pieces our clients can sell to pay for much-needed things like medicine, rent and transit. And so much more.
Most importantly though, we give our members and neighbours a helping hand to get back to being a healthy, contributing member of our neighbourhood. By supporting us, you’re doing your part a well.
Officially, our work falls into three categories:
We offer ways for clients to build self esteem while providing options for rehabilitation and recovery from mental illness and addiction.
- Mental Health Drop-In Centre
- Advocacy Services
- On-Site Health Clinic
- Outreach Services
- Supported Employment Program
- Volunteer Training
- Recreational & Lifeskill Programs
The Kettle partners with BC Housing to help individuals who find themselves homeless. The Kettle specifically helps homeless people in the Grandview-Woodland area by:
- Addressing immediate physical and safety needs by providing food, warm clothing and a place to stay
- Connecting people with housing and income support, including making and accompanying them to appointments
- Providing links to other support services, such as life
- skills training, personal health, household and financial management
- Acting as a landlord liaison to help clients remain in their current residences
We provide people with services that prevent and reduce homelessness and hospital care by finding them places of their own. We do this by through housing / roommate searches, as well as working with clients during the application process for subsidized housing programs, including:
- Supported Independent Living (SIL) Program and the Super SIL Program
- Enhanced Supported Apartments
- Licensed Care Facilities
- Transitional Housing For Women
At the end of the day, we think our organization’s full legal name says who we are best of all: The Kettle Friendship Society.
“The Kettle” is appropriate because there’s something special about the calm, social feeling you get when you sit down with other people and a mug of something warm and delicious. It’s that same inviting, social feeling we want to give our clients.
“Friendship” is what we give people who feel like no one cares about them. We do that by providing access to counselling, specialized services, advocacy and a safe place where they can seek refuge with kind, caring people. “Society” because it takes a large group of us to pull off what we do, from the staff and volunteers at The Kettle, to the individuals and companies who provide donations, to the members of the community who appreciate and support what we do.
Boffo Properties is a mid-size, family-run builder whose Venables Street offices are in the same neighbourhood as the proposed Kettle Boffo Project.
The company’s two Principals (Flavia and Daniel) are the daughter and son of the company’s founder, Tarcisio (Terry) Boffo, who immigrated to Vancouver from Italy decades ago to create a new life for himself and his family. Tarcisio Boffo experienced firsthand how the city of Vancouver believed in the “common good” and provided opportunities for everyone to prosper, feel included and find a sense of belonging — even someone new to the country, like him.
Today, Boffo Properties is a successful development company in East Van that’s been building neighbourhoods, one structure at a time, since 1963. Their portfolio includes the construction and/or development of single-family residences, townhomes, concrete high-rises as well master- planned communities — all of which exhibit the same timeless design, quality construction and intricately beautiful landscaping they would expect for their very own homes.
Two architectural teams would work together on the Kettle Boffo Proposal. Olson Kundig Architects is a Seattle-based design practice who will design the master vision for the project in tandem with gBL Architects, the local firm with specific Vancouver expertise.
Olson Kundig Architects (OKA) started their firm with a simple idea: that buildings can serve as a bridge between nature, culture and people, and that inspiring surroundings have a positive affect on people’s lives. Olson Kundig Architects’ impressive worldwide work includes museums, residences (often for art collectors), commercial design and academic buildings. They have also directed their expertise to non-market projects such as the Gethsamane Lutheran Church project.
gBL Architects is a creative, forward-minded firm of local architects providing a complete range of architectural services to the private and public sectors. Each of their commissions is embraced with a commitment to excellence at every stage of project delivery. The firm’s work spans 25 years and is extensive throughout Vancouver and the Province of British Columbia. gBL is also a member of the Canada Green Building Council and The Cascadia Region Green Building Council, and practices green design through the LEED Canada Program.
Pottinger Bird is a consultancy firm that specializes in development-related public relations, including public outreach, engagement and consultation. Their knowledge of the municipal approvals process, combined with their hands-on work with community groups, municipal planning staff, elected officials, the media and other stakeholders enables them to provide effective communications and public relations support to the property development team.
Brook Pooni Associates is a leading urban planning and land development consultancy firm based in Vancouver. With an experienced team and a vast combination of skills and experience, they successfully steward real estate projects through the municipal approvals process and produce planning studies on a wide array of topics. For over 25 years, Brook Pooni Associates has been offering expert advice and a wide range of development planning services to hundreds of clients across the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and Western Canada.
Boldt Communications Inc. is a Vancouver-based marketing and communications consulting firm that specializes in helping organizations and individuals tell their story in a compelling and honest way that reflects their values, supports their vision and helps drive their success. Boldt has supported a broad range of projects in the non-profit, public and private sectors over the past 15 years, offering a variety of services that include strategic marketing communications auditing and planning, writing and editing, and media relations.
Vancouver is in the midst of a housing and mental health crisis. The Kettle Society and Boffo Properties support a housing policy that nurtures a more compassionate, diverse, and inclusive community where neighbours care for and about each other. Join us in our ongoing advocacy.
If you have comments and questions about the City of Vancouver’s housing plans, and the requirements for a project like the Kettle Boffo proposal, we encourage you to contact Vancouver’s Mayor and Council.