Port Coquitlam mayor looks to online community to change a life
Crowdsourcing has brought the world the Pebble “smart” wristwatch, the Form 1 3D printer and a Veronica Mars movie for fans of the spunky, small-screen teen detective.
And while gawker.com’s infamous “crackstarter” campaign failed to secure a video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack, a Tri-City mayor is hoping crowdsourcing can help with a charitable campaign of his own.
Port Coquitlam’s Greg Moore has started a crowdsourced fundraising campaign to cover the rent costs for a single homeless person.
By Tuesday afternoon, the Homes for Good Ending Homelessness Society campaign on FundRazr (fundrazr.com) had raised $1,160 towards a $6,800 goal, up from $20 just a few hours earlier.
(Crowdsourcing has become a popular online method of raising money for charities and businesses. Kickstarter.com and indiegogo.com are two well-known crowdsourcing websites.)
Moore said he started the online campaign on the weekend and took advantage of some downtime on an airline flight to Charlottetown, P.E.I. to stir up some interest via email.
“It’s going to be fun to see if I can challenge myself and our community through crowdsourcing to see if we can get enough money to house somebody,” Moore said from a Federation of Canadian Municipalities sustainability conference in the maritime city. “If you get enough people doing this, you can change someone’s life.”
He should know. The Homes for Good Society is currently housing two families — eight people in all — with funds raised from the community. Moore said it costs about $6,800 to top up monthly housing allowances for 18 months — the length of time it takes a homeless person to get back on their feet.
Working with the New View Society and other agencies, Homes for Good identifies people needing help and then tops up their rent cheque.
One of the families helped by Homes for Good was living in a car on the north side of Port Coquitlam until one of the society’s directors knocked on the window to see what the organization could do to help.
Now, the family is in stable housing and the children continue to attend school.
With more money, the Homes for Good could house even more people from the Tri-Cities, Moore said, including those who are currently using the temporary bridge shelters run by the Hope for Freedom Society.
If just 136 people gave $50 each, Moore said, someone’s life would change forever.
For information on Homes for Good, visit homesforgood.ca.