The Gorge View Society (GVS) provides affordable housing for seniors who are able to live independently. The Society was created in the mid-fifties when a group of concerned members of the United Church of Canada (affiliated with the Victoria Presbytery) saw a need for decent, reasonably priced housing for seniors living on fixed incomes.
Nearly six acres of land was purchased in the early 1950's and the first building was dedicated in 1958.
Over almost 60 years GVS built 17 buildings, two of which were taken down to accommodate the only 2-storey building which also houses the Office. As of April 2012, there are 108 suites – 20 couple, 87 single and 1 Hospitality suite. GVS is committed to a hands-on approach to management, accomplished through its valued volunteer Board and Society members, and two part-time staff members in administration and maintenance.
All units were built and continue to operate without government subsidy or bank loans. New units are built as enough rental income is saved for the next building project. Maintenance and updating of some of our older buildings remains a priority.
With current government policies and more health providers supporting seniors in their homes, residents continue in their suites well into their 80s and 90s. To meet new demands for seniors’ safety, the Society is concentrating on upgrading and modernizing its suites. Funding from the CMHC RRAPs program in 2009 provided $420,000.00+ for upgrades in heating, insulation, exhaust fans and thermo pane windows to many of the units.
In 2010, careful stewardship put The Society in a position to consider another building; CitySpaces Consulting helped GVS examine options and provided an exciting blueprint for future expansions. Following that plan the Board engaged Joe Newell Architect Inc. to work with them on an additional 8 suite structure, completed in April 2012 – again, without outside funding.
The Gorge View Society is a member of the Organization of United Church Homes (OUCH), participating in national conferences held every two years. In June of 2012, three members will attend in St. Catherines, ON. Previous conferences were held in Vancouver (2006), St. John’s, Nfld (2008) and Winnipeg, Man (2010). This involvement ensures support in our endeavours, standardization and supervision of national policies and procedures, and the sharing of information which keeps us current with trends in senior's housing across Canada.
Key to the success of The Gorge View Society committee structure is the various skills of our Board and Society members. The hands-on approach continues to be a major guiding principle. Board Members are involved with property management and maintenance, admissions, finance, personnel, visiting and social activities.
Each congregation within Victoria Presbytery is entitled to send up to three representatives to the Society. This participation is vital for the current and future operation of GVS as it continues to provide much-needed housing at below market value. The goal is to increase membership - and those committed to volunteering, especially with backgrounds or interests in the work of seniors housing are welcome to join us!
The Society meets monthly (except in July, August and December) on the third Wednesday of the month, at 10:00 am in the lounge of the Al Insley Building on its Chown Place property. Visitors are always welcome. In line with the strong social justice concerns of the United Church of Canada, GVS will continue to provide a first class service over the next fifty years!