Belinda’s Place opened operationally in October of 2015. Deborah Kelly as President of the Belinda’s Place Foundation shared these comments at the Official Opening in 2016.
“Collaboration… Caring… Community… Hope for a better future… That’s how the story of Belinda’s Place began. We were inspired by the challenge presented by Belinda Stronach and Mayor Tony Van Bynen to change the inevitability of the growing poverty and homelessness in our communities.
A most generous gift from the Society of Friends — the donation of this property — and the support of regional council gave us the conviction that our community really could help build this first transitional and emergency housing facility for homeless and at-risk women.
Belinda’s Place Foundation was established with Belinda Stronach as honorary chair and members Mayor Van Bynen, myself, Jim Alexander, Steve Hinder, Brenda McLennan, Jackie Playter, Brian Kressler, Pat Noble and Donna Gerrits.
Our community met the ambitious goal of raising $1 million — from five-year-old Aidan who made thousands of bracelets and the women at Mount Albert United Church who knitted toques, to Oxford Properties/Upper Canada Mall’s Hope in Purple Heels fashion gala, Magna’s Wild Wild West Hoedown and the Hockey Helps the Homeless weekend tournament.
From across York Region, countless gifts from the heart, from $25 to $50,000, helped us present a $1-million cheque to York Regional Council in June 2014. We continued to raise money to make Belinda’s Place a true home by helping to provide appliances and housewares.
Magna International Inc. — who contributed to this project in many ways — made an exceptional gift of $1 million to establish an endowment fund that will be used to enhance programs and support special projects at Belinda’s Place in perpetuity, under the umbrella of the Belinda Stronach Foundation.
We remain awed by the generosity of our community, not only by their gifts of time and money, but for the true generosity of spirit and compassion that has seen Belinda’s Place embraced. Collaboration… Caring… Community… Hope for a better future. We know the story of Belinda’s Place is only just beginning.”
More information about Belinda’s Place is available through the following links: