Cockrell House is operated by the non-profit SMVIZ Veterans Housing Society which was formed in early 2009.
Our mission is to provide shelter, food and support services to ex-members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Regular and Reserve who are homeless or under-housed.
Cockrell House has assisted over 50 veterans since we started and we currently have 9 staying with us now. The main house in Colwood will facilitate 8 vets and we have two units at Prince Edward Lodge (low income Legion Housing) at our disposal. We are also assisting three others at various locations.
Our funding comes from various veteran organizations and groups like the City of Colwood, the Esquimalt Lions and Russ Ridley, the original owner of the House. The largest supporter has been the BC/Yukon Legion Foundation which encompasses all the branches in BC. They have recently purchased the building, which secures a future for this incredibly important project. We never quit trying for government funding but as of yet have been unsuccessful.
We are fortunate to have professional support from people like Dr. Tim Black at UVIC, the local VAC office and their front line workers, peer support from OSISS, lawyer Terry Swan and nurses from Verity Home Care who visits our vets bi-monthly - all pro-bono.
When a veteran is successful and can move out on their own, they are fully outfitted with everything they need to live independently - furniture, linen utensils etc. Most of this is donated.
Our hard operating costs which include housing, food cards and bus passes are approximately $10,000.00 per month.