Bob Galligan holds pictures of his daughter and grandchildren. For years

Tackling the homelessness issue

The origins of the RV Program and Dawn to Dawn

  • Apr. 30, 2015 6:00 p.m.

Jin Lin can truly see every day just how important it is to have clean shelter, a warm bed and a place to call ‘home.’

Lin, along with her husband Dali, are known most commonly throughout the Comox Valley as owners and managers of Maple Pool Camping and RV on Headquarters Road, but they also serve as an integral part of supporting those without shelter thanks to their partnership with Dawn to Dawn: Action on Homelessness Society.

“I would say that most people are so appreciative of a trailer to live,” explains Lin at her kitchen table overlooking a cluster of trailers supported by the organization. “When they have a home, their health gets improved, they have a place to lie down, sleep, watch TV. It’s just a smaller version of a home. In the beginning, I had a tenant who drank a lot. Now he has a car, he quit drinking – that will touch your heart.”

A few years ago, the Lins connected with Dawn to Dawn founder Tom Grant, and created a connection through the RV Program, a program where individuals can donate gently used RVs which are cleaned, and then placed on property at Maple Pool to house those in need.

“It’s not a long-term housing solution, but at least it gives them a roof over their head; it’s their house and they feel safe and dry,” added LIn.

• • •

As president of the Comox Rotary Club in 2007, Grant knew he wanted to be proactive in finding out what the community needed.

He struck up a committee and quickly found out one of the mounting issues in the Valley was homelessness.

Following a community meeting, Grant, along with some of the founding board members and a grant from Rotary, created Dawn to Dawn.

“We wanted to help solve homelessness,” he says. “We knew we can’t pay rent, but we could top it up, and pay some utilities and could furnish (apartments).”

The organization began with seven apartments, which were rented under their name. They began accepting referrals from other social agencies and started pairing up people in two-bedroom apartments, eventually housing between 14 to 20 individuals.

The concept of the pairing up is to better stretch the social assistance allowances.

One person on welfare cannot afford an apartment, but two people, together, can at least come close. They use their social assistance and Dawn to Dawn bridges the gap.

While his term as Rotary president was a one-year commitment, Grant’s connection to helping those without shelter runs deep.

“My dad was orphaned and lived in hobo camps. He rode the rails working on farms,” explains Grant.

Living between Seattle and Portland, Tom’s father knew nothing of Canada until his father (Tom’s grandfather) died and Tom’s father had to leave. He arrived in the country with his brother, and knew of one relative in Canada.

“They took in his brother, but didn’t have food or a room for him – it was 1939.”

A few years later, Grant’s wife Holly became Rotary president, and asked how the organization could team up with Dawn to Dawn to work on a hands-on project.

They created the RV Program – accepting donations from anyone who was willing to donate a used trailer in exchange for a tax receipt.

Rotary offered to clean the trailers, and the Lins offered room at Maple Pool, explains Grant.

“Years later, we still get phone calls (about the program).”

 

Just Posted

WATCH: Teams gather in Comox for VEX competition

More than 40 teams across Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland gathered… Continue reading

Dementia village planned for Comox hospital

Providence Health takes ownership of St. Joseph’s April 1

Vehicle crashes into ground floor of Comox retirement building Saturday

A driver narrowly avoided injury to herself or others as her vehicle… Continue reading

Comox Valley libraries have plenty to offer during Family Literacy Week

Colleen Nelson Special to The Record Do you have a young reader… Continue reading

Strong winds up to 100 km/h for parts of Vancouver Island

Wind warning in effect for north, east and west Vancouver Island into Saturday morning

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

Comox Valley libraries have plenty to offer during Family Literacy Week

Colleen Nelson Special to The Record Do you have a young reader… Continue reading

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

Most Read