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HeroWork, a charity that helps other charities, to wind down operations

HeroWork is a charity that transforms other charities in Greater Victoria by renovating their buildings.

“We’ve done housing, we’ve done mental health facilities, we’ve done a whole range of projects that have moved the needle for this community,” said Paul Latour, founder and CEO of HeroWork.

The charity has completed 17 projects in total across the Capital Region, valued at around $8 million.

Due to rising construction costs, labour shortages in the trades and dwindling donations along with a number of other factors, the charity’s operations will be closing down in the coming weeks.

“Companies can only give so much and when they’re in tough times, that translates to our tough times,” said Latour.

The charity can only meet its goals by relying on construction material and labour donations within the trades. Unfortunately, both have dried up due to inflation.

“This entire kitchen was renovated by HeroWork,” said Treska Watson, the director of operations for the Mustard Seed Street Church and Food Bank. “This was a raw space when we moved into the warehouse.”

The kitchen at the Mustard Seed’s warehouse cooks meals for hundreds of clients every day. By partnering with HeroWork, the food bank saved tens of thousands of dollars on the renovation. That saved money was then put into purchasing food for those in need.

“We’re seeing shifts across the board in terms of need and demand. Our food bank is seeing unprecedented demand down on Queens Avenue,” said Watson.

People are feeling the inflationary pinch, relying more often on the food bank, and donations have slowed.

“We are seeing a dip in donations,” said Watson. “We are seeing what we call donor fatigue.”

“I think that everybody is facing pressures right now,” said Jonathon Dyke, director of communication and community engagement with the Victoria Foundation.

The Victoria Foundation conducted a survey in February called Safety Net, which measured what is happening in the non-profit sector. The results produced three key findings.

“Organizations are doing more with less, facing HR concerns and stabilizing, but for how long?” said Dyke.

To sum it up, there is a higher demand on the non-profits’ services with less revenue coming in. That is putting stress on all charities in the region.

“It was a dream that we had to make this happen, but unfortunately that dream is done,” said Latour.

As many charities struggle, HeroWork’s role in the community is coming to a close.

The founder and CEO says what he is most proud of is what his team has accomplished over the last 10 years, leaving a legacy that will continue to give back to the community for years to come.

“These buildings don’t go away, they will continue to impact the vulnerable populations here in Victoria,” said Latour. Top Stories

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