Society of Hope Blog

Society Wins 2022 Award!

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After two years navigating COVID 19 pandemic and restrictions, business excellence was celebrated with the Thompson Okanagan Grant Thornton LLP Business Excellence Awards.  There were 18 different categories honored by business owners, managers and leaders gathered for an evening of networking and reflecting.

"Celebrating the Best of the Best of Business in the Thompson Okanagan"

Coast Capri Hotel, Kelowna, June 16, 2022

This was an opportunity to honor the best of the best, and their performance over the last two years!    A wide variety of sectors were represented - highlighting what "can be and is being done in our region."  Check out all the winners at www.businessexaminer.ca  Categories in such areas as Automotive, Green, Health Care, Entrepreneur, Financial, Food & Beverage, Hospitality & Tourism, Manufacturing, Non Profit, Professional, Real Estate, Retail, Technology, Trades, Small Business, and Wineries, and of course, Construction & Development, were recognized.   Congratulations to the Society of Hope for winning the Business of the Year for Construction & Development award!




Some Current Board Members & Staff Accepting The Award

Kurt, Mark, Ken, Barb, Shannon, Julie, Les & Aaron standing in for the Society accepting the "Business of the Year - 2022" Award


Ken Zeitner

The Society of Hope's Executive Director, Ken Zeitner, accepting the Construction/Development Award.


Construction/Development Award!

Grant Thornton BE Award accepted by the Society of Hope.

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We are pleased to welcome Ken Zeitner as the Society's New Executive Director!

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The Society of Hope is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Ken Zeitner to the position of Executive Director effective May 28, 2022. Ken will take over from Luke Stack who is retiring from the role after serving as Executive Director since the inception of the Society in 1989.


Ken has served in various positions with the organization over the years and is currently the Chief Financial Officer.

Ken was responsible for the design and implementation of numerous innovative administrative and operational systems which proved essential to the Society's capacity to build and operate increasing numbers of affordable housing units in the region. Ken's contributions over the years have been a key factor in the Society being recognized with multiple community awards, including the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, Business Excellence Award for Community Impact and the BC Non-Profit Housing Association's Housing Provider of the Year Award. 

The Society's Board of Directors looks forward to working with Ken and the entire Society of Hope team as we continue to provide qualify affordable housing in the communities of the Central Okanagan.



Ken Zeitner


Ken & Barb Zeitner

Ken and his wife Barb joined in the founding of the Society of Hope in early 1990.


On Top of the World!

Wearing one of his many hats, Ken also currently leads the Society's Joint Health & Safety Committee.

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Leaving Behind a STACK of Accomplishments!

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Luke Stack, The Society  of Hope's Executive Director, has tendered his resignation effective May 27, 2022.  He has served this organization for 33 years.

The Society wishes Luke success, and thanks him for his dedication to help fulfill the Society's mission to provide quality affordable housing.  "It is my belief that this is the right time to do this," said Stack, saying that he is leaving the organization in very good hands, with a skilled Board and staff members to carry the Society forward.  Luke will be spending more time with family and friends, and continue to serve on Kelowna City Council. 

The earliest concepts of the Society of Hope began in the late 1980s. Luke and his wife Anne were two of the initial founders in 1989. Luke was also one of the founding members of the BC Non Profit Housing Association (BCHPHA), representing the Okanagan.

Seeing the need for affordable rental housing in the Okanagan Valley, the Society has constructed or acquired over 700 rental homes from Peachland to Lake Country. In fact, the Society of Hope is now the largest non-profit housing provider in the Interior of B.C. More than a hundred more apartments and townhomes are scheduled for completion in the next 24-36 months, and another 75+ units sometime after that.

Luke will be missed by many, and he says he will miss his office, his early morning coffee, and staff meetings! But he won't be far... He says he will continue to oversee the development and completion of Capstone and Pleasantvale 2. He won't officially decide until summer whether he will seek another 4 year term with the City. One thing is for certain, Luke has not tired of serving our community!


Earlier Days


Boots on the ground.

Safety first as Luke heads out to check on the dig of our newest build!

Always the Professional

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Shiny Shovels in the Sunshine!

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Friday, Jan 28, 2022 was "Sod Turning Day" for the Society of Hope's newest project – Capstone. The brief ceremony featured 3 speakers: The Society's Board President, Philip Lambert, Mayor Colin Basran, and BC Housing/Province of BC representative: Kelly Miller – Associate Vice President of Operations for BC Housing. Luke Stack, The Society's Executive Director, officiated.

The Capstone project began in 1996 with donation of a large piece of land by Gordon & Helen Ziglar. The purpose of this donation was to have "Active living and housing for seniors." This land was eventually sold, (Landmark square) and a 9 acre farm owned by Lloyd & Nan Petitt was purchased.   2175 Benvoulin Road is the current location of the Capstone property; spread out between Benvoulin Road, Benvoulin Court, and Mayer Road. This will be the biggest project The Society has built. This building will have 9 stories, and include 122 suites. The mix of one and two bedroom units will provide rental housing for moderate to low income individuals, small families, seniors and people with disabilities.

This project is made possible through a partnership between the Government of British Columbia, the National Society of Hope, the City of Kelowna, and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The City of Kelowna has provided at $300,000.00 grant as well as a ten year tax reduction for this project." As well, "70% of the units in this building will have rents set at 30% of a person's income. This means these units will be truly affordable."

Scuka Construction is the builder, and we can look forward to the Grand Opening in about 2 yrs.

"It has taken 26 years to get to this Capstone Sod Turning today."

Society Staff and current and former Board Members

Official Sod Turning!

From Left to Right: Society of Hope's Executive Director, Luke Stack, Associate Vice President of Operations for BC Housing, Kelly Miller, Mayor Colin Basran and The Society of Hope's Board President, Philip Lambert.

Capstone Rendering

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It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

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Thank you London Drugs Stocking Stuffers For Seniors!

Our very own local London Drugs has a great and timely gift program for seniors.

The Stocking Stuffers for Seniors campaign began in 2015, with one store location providing help for 500 inner city seniors. The campaign quickly caught on, growing in 2016 to multiple store locations helping more than 2,000 seniors in their communities. In 2017, Stocking Stuffers for Seniors went chain wide across all stores, in all locations. In fact, London Drugs delivered donated gifts to more than 10,000 seniors! In 2021, London Drugs is excited to once again offer the Stocking Stuffers for Seniors campaign chain wide, for the fourth year in a row.

"The effects of isolation and loneliness have been significant during the pandemic and we want our seniors to know we care, and we are thinking of them. For the fifth year in a row, Stocking Stuffers for Seniors partners with local care homes and charities with a mission to bring more holiday cheer to seniors, in all the communities we serve."

Donated items don't need to be purchased from a London Drugs store — any new, non-gift wrapped item is accepted from Friday, November 12 – Wednesday, December 8th.

Simply purchase or bring new, non-gift wrapped items, along with the gift tag, to the store's Customer Service Counter by the delivery date. You are even welcome to include a personalized Christmas Card with your gift..

Upon visiting a London Drugs store, head over to the store's Christmas Tree for a Stocking Stuffers for Seniors gift tag. Each tag contains a wish list from a local senior, or a general "wish list" from a participating local care home or charitable partner organization.

London Drugs has developed a "desired item list" (e.g. toothpaste, shaving cream, socks, mittens, blankets, cookies) with the care home managers, and use generic tags for those items so that all residents benefit equally from the donated gifts.

Customers can visit London Drugs and pick up a holiday wish list tag from the Christmas tree.  Simply provide the gift to the store which we will be distributed to the seniors.

Many Society of Hope seniors have benefitted from this program over the last two years. This year 91 Hope Tenants will be gifted at some of our Rutland and Lake Country sites.  Thank you London Drugs for this excellent seasonal program!

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Ready, Set, Soup!

Hey, What’s ‘Soup?

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Thursday mornings in the Ziglar Rec Centre are filled with the smells of savory soup simmering and the clamoring of chopping and chatter.  Our resource coordinator and many Tenant Volunteers are busy preparing big bowls of homemade seasonal soups for Metro Community.  Metro has a drop in courtyard/café, and is located at 1262 St. Paul St.  They offer a 'safe place to come and have your basic needs met.'  What a great way for community to help community.  Volunteers from our tenant community prepare enough food for 100 meals – once every 2nd week.  Some bring ingredients, some bring recipes, and some bring the laughs and the helping hands required for such a task.



Chopping & Chatter!

Recipes chosen, and veggies being chopped on the island.

Rose

Preparing foods in our Apple Valley Kitchen


Mike

Happy to transport large containers of prepared soups from one location to another

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Pleasantvale 2

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Castanet.net posted the following story earlier this week.  

If all goes well, the Society of Hope envisions breaking ground on Pleasantvale 2 in the spring or summer of next year.

On Monday, the Central Okanagan housing society officially distributed plans for the project to city hall.

This is the first major step for the proposed development since the non-profit society was selected by BC Housing to construct Pleasantvale 2 earlier this year.

The proposal before the city includes 27 two and three bedroom family townhomes and 48 one and two bedroom units for seniors within a four-story apartment.

It will front Cambridge and Central avenues and Kingsway in Kelowna's north end, next to the first Pleasantvale project.

"I'm really pleased with the look of the new building, I'm really pleased with the look of the new townhomes," said Society of Hope executive director Luke Stack.

"I think it's going to be a great addition to that neighborhood.  I think there was a little concern in the neighborhood of what it might be, but when it was presented as apartments for seniors and townhomes for families, they all sort of went, all good."

Stack says the design differs a bit from the first Pleasantvale project. He says they tried to model the design somewhat after world renowned American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

More public consultations are expected to take place in September before the rezoning application comes before council, possibly as early as the fall.

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Summer Shade!

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PineWood Villas has a new Pergola - thanks to our hard working Maintenance Team.  Thank you Elijah, Kevin, Rick, Aaron and Andre for giving the tenants at this site some much needed shade for the summer.  Comfortable, accessible outdoor spaces are a priority for Okanagan Living!

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Summer Pool Refresh!

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Need to get out of the heat wave?  Care for a nice refreshing game of Pool?  Thanks to a very generous fellow we'll call "Bill," as well as our volunteers, The Ziglar Recreation Centre has secured a 'gently used', new to us, 'Brunswick Heirloom' Pool table!   Thank you, Bill, for this timely and fun donation!  As seen in the background, this table has found its new home in our Games Room, and tenants have wasted no time jumping in to play!   Especially take notice the fringed pockets - bringing style and a little pizazz to the room!  Apple Valley has also had it's Pool/Snooker Table refurbished recently, thanks to our Resource Manager.  Here, in the foreground, you can see the new re-felted table.      

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A Dry Summer Ahead!

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The Society of Hope has been proud and privileged over the past few years to have taken part in BC Hydro / Fortis BC's Energy Conservation Assistance Program (ECAP), while working alongside It's on Electric and Ecofitt.  These companies manage multiple programs providing clean energy solutions.

Our tenants have reaped the rewards of these Programs having received many energy-efficient products such as LED bulbs, carbon monoxide detectors, showerheads, fridges, furnaces and more. This past month we received several drying racks for tenants who have been participating in the Program.

Drying racks are a wonderful alternative to using a dryer, while also being a whole lot gentler on fabrics.  BC Hydro's website states that dryers can account for up to 12% of your home's energy.  This represents a significant savings to your energy bill.

We wish to recognize BC Hydro, Fortis BC, It's on Electric and Ecofitt, by saying THANK YOU!  Their dedication to providing all these energy savings have contributed to huge savings for The Society of Hope.

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Tenant Service Request

Admin Hours

Monday to Friday 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Rent Day 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Contact Info

Tel: (778) 478-7977
#101 – 2055 Benvoulin Court,
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1W 2C7

The Society of Hope | Copyright 2019