When Art meets Purpose

On April 19th 2017, The YWCA - Vancouver opened the doors of their new housing "Cause We Care House". This innovative housing community will assist many low-income single mothers and their children.

YWCA Cause We Care House Community nə́c̓aʔmat ct Strathcona

In 2014, the YWCA - Vancouver and I partnered with the intention of planning a creative and meaningful project, that will support one of the organization's programs or initiatives. We were not sure which program will be chosen but we were excited to be working together and we knew this project will be something new to them and to me. After looking at many different programs, we decided to support "Cause We Care House". The project was a long time dream and it was slowly becoming a reality. An ambitious initiative that required the support of the City of Vancouver and many donors was taking shape. The idea of supporting the construction of this important housing resonated with me. We decided that the best way of reaching out to donors was by linking the stories of single moms to my art. YWCA was the liaison between the women and me. After an extensive research, interviews and meaningful conversations, I was ready to paint their stories.

At my studio, painting

After a few months and with a lot of support from YWCA Vanessa Wellington and Chantelle Krish, the project started to show its first images. There were many challenges but we faced them with communication and wisdom. In February 2015, I attended the Grounding Event at 730 East Hastings St., Vancouver.

First Nations ceremony at the Grounding Event, Feb 2015

At the Grounding Event with YWCA Vanessa Wellington and the owner of Westside Grand Gallery.

After the Grounding Event, we were ready to show donors, staff, family and friends the completion of "Home Is Love" art show. We hosted the opening night reception on February 12th 2015 at the Westside Grand gallery, Vancouver.

YWCA CEO Janet Austin, Opening night reception of "Home Is Love"

YWCA Chantelle Krish at the Opening night reception of "Home Is Love"

On April 2017, the building came to completion. The project – at 720 and 730 East Hastings St. – is a joint initiative that features a branch library, community and family programming, and safe, affordable housing for low-income single mothers and their children. The City of Vancouver made the largest contribution towards a new Vancouver Public Library branch. The City’s financial support includes land value of the site and design and construction of the new library. This housing will accommodate and assist many low-income mothers and their children.

YWCA Donors at the new building standing with Jazmin by one of her artworks in display.

YWCA Vanessa Wellington and Jazmin at the new "Cause We Care House" housing

With the support of the YWCA staff and donors, I was able to be part of this meaningful project.

"The stories you believe to be true are the ones your life will become" with love, Jazmin

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