Thousands already donated for upcoming London, Ont. homelessness plan

Thousands of dollars have already been raised for an upcoming plan that aims to bring a “permanent and sustainable system” to deal with homelessness in London, Ont.

The plan was announced last week by Mayor Josh Morgan during his first-ever State of the City Address.

Attached to news of the plan was the unveiling of a $25 million donation from a local family that wishes to remain anonymous.

The anonymous family offered an additional $5 million for the upcoming plan, so long as community donations can match that amount.

An online fundraiser collecting money for the upcoming plan has been set up by the London Community Foundation (LCF) in the meantime.

On Monday morning, LCF’s director of philanthropy Diana Silva told Global News more than 90 people had donated online for a total of $16,000.

The number more-than-quadrupled by Monday afternoon when Libro Credit Union announced in a media release that it had donated $50,000 to the cause.

“This is clearly something so passionate and important (to Londoners). You can just feel it, the community is totally engaged and fired up about this,” Silva said.

“It’s beautiful to see where we’re at and I can only imagine how quickly we’ll get to the $5 million.”

Silva added that the current fundraising total does reflect non-online options. Donors are allowed to send in larger gifts via cheques or by donating privately-held securities.

The anonymous family wanted the LCF to be in charge of operating the $5 million fundraiser, Silva said.

“This is what we do, we offer these flexible fund options and the stewardship of high governance, making sure that the money is being used for its intended purpose, that the money is protected and that we’re tracking all of the donations,” Silva added.

News of the upcoming plan has generated excitement from local advocates working directly with those experiencing homelessness.

Details of the plan won’t be unveiled until next month, and that’s when Silva expects the fundraising campaign will truly start to gain traction.

“People who are thinking about making larger contributions are asking those tougher questions — how is this being managed? How is this being deployed?” Silva said.

“I encourage the community to pay attention to the Health and Homelessness Summit report that’s scheduled to come out in February and for people to really get engaged.”

Morgan, London’s mayor, says the Health and Homelessness Summit has one more meeting this week before the upcoming homelessness plan can be finalized and a report is presented at city hall.

The summit, which Morgan says contains over 200 Londoners representing 60 different groups and organizations, is due to meet on Wednesday.

Those looking to donate to the upcoming plan can do so at FundForChange.ca.

— with files from Global’s Amy Simon

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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