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Community Fundraising Team for Health & Homelessness Fund for Change Unveiled, Aims to Grow $25M Donation to $35M

Volunteer leaders will boost fundraising efforts in support of solutions to
local health & homelessness crisis

LONDON, ON - September 15th 2023 | London’s Health & Homelessness Fund for Change today introduced the dedicated volunteer fundraising committee tasked with expanding a historically significant $25 million contribution from an anonymous London family to a potential $35 million, via an innovative community matching initiative. An additional $5 million in matching dollars have been pledged by the donor family, effectively doubling every dollar donated by the community, with the goal to activate an additional $10M million in total to support London’s new health and homelessness system response.

The group is co-chaired by the anonymous donor and Jeff Macoun, President and COO of Canada Life, and includes a number of respected local leaders:

  • Jeff Macoun - President & COO, Canada Life
  • Bob Bourne - Retired Orthopedic Surgeon, London Health Sciences Centre
  • Wayne Dunn - Chair, Business Cares Food Drive
  • Keith Gibbons - Chair, Board of Governors, Western University
  • Murray Faulkner - Retired Chief of Police, Past Honorary Colonel, 31 Service Battalion
  • Kapil Lakhotia - President & CEO London Economic Development Corporation
  • Graham Porter - Retired Partner,  Lerners LLP
  • Chirag Shah - Partner, PwC Canada
  • Bob Siskind - President, Decade Group
  • Peter Whatmore - CBRE Chairman, Southwestern Ontario
  • Jill Wright - Past Board Member London Community Foundation & Past Chair of London Community Foundation Grants Committee

A long-time London resident and leader of one of the city’s largest employers, Macoun underscored the collaborative strength of the initiative, noting that addressing London’s ongoing homelessness crisis requires the collective effort of the entire community, including agencies, business, government, donors and the public.

“This initiative is about more than one individual or organization. It’s a rallying call for Londoners to unite and face this challenge together because it impacts all of us. Our committee's goal is to gather even more support for the health and homelessness plan because we all have a responsibility to help where we can, and to strengthen the community for those who came before us and those who will follow.”   

The anonymous donor commended the leadership group for joining this crucial community movement.

“By stepping up to raise essential funds, these local leaders are ensuring that everyone in our community can access the care, support, and housing they need to thrive. As we invest together in this new system, we will help alleviate suffering, save lives, and build a healthier, stronger and safer London.”

Administered by the London Community Foundation, the Fund for Change will be dedicated to supporting many aspects of the system response, including the initial 3-5 Hubs, which serve as a gateway to supportive housing. This system is designed to aid the approximately 600 unhoused Londoners facing the most complex of challenges, who are often completely unsheltered and most visible on city streets, and who can have high levels of interaction with emergency services and the healthcare system.

Fund for Change leaders, in collaboration with the London Community Foundation, will make final decisions about the allocation of funds based on proposals from system leadership.

Diane Silva, Director of Philanthropy at the London Community Foundation signaled their strong support and dedication to the Fund for Change.

"We are immensely proud to be a part of the Health & Homelessness Fund for Change. This initiative demonstrates the power of collective action and community-driven philanthropy. By working together, we can enrich the quality of life for all Londoners. This Fund represents a significant financial investment from extraordinarily generous Londoners and a profound opportunity for our community.”

London’s Health and Homelessness system response is a groundbreaking approach not previously seen in the community, with a fully integrated system where service providers collaborate in new, more effective ways. It is designed to help the most marginalized individuals move safely inside, become stabilized and supported, and ultimately transition into highly supportive housing. The plan was created by 200 individuals from over 70 local organizations spanning various sectors, from social services to business.

The $74 million announced this week from the Housing Accelerator Fund will provide dollars for critical housing infrastructure overall, including affordable housing and supports to help address London’s health and homelessness crisis. Full details are expected soon but funding is not expected to flow immediately.

The Fund for Change remains a critical source of funding for many aspects of the system implementation, including the first Hubs in 2023.

Mayor Josh Morgan, who first announced the transformative $25 million donation during his 2023 State of the City address, believes this community driven work is pivotal at this moment.

“Our collective actions today will shape our community’s future for generations to come. We recognize that we can do better, and the coordinated response, the Fund for Change and support from the federal government have ignited the momentum we need to take unified action now, truly altering the course of this crisis.”

For more information or to set up interviews please contact:
Jeff Sage
Phone: 519.851.3689

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