Here are some of the highlights of the Annual General Meeting held November 1, 2017.
As was noted previously, 2016-17 was a very challenging year for Bruce House. The fiscal year closed on March 31, 2017 with a deficit of $270,000; a deficit which threatened the future of the organization. Bruce House has met this challenge by (all numbers approximate):
- Temporarily leaving the Interim Executive Director position vacant, and eliminating the position of Fund Developer (saving $105,000)
- Closing the Transition House Program (saving $120,000 for 2017-18, and $300,000 annually)
- Subletting surplus office space (revenue of $12,500 per year)
- Holding a successful summer appeal campaign (donations of $15,000)
- Benefiting from several summer fundraisers (combined donations of $18,000)
Bruce House has also received a funding increase from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care ($25,000/year). To date over twenty grant applications have been submitted, and a business appeal mail-out was completed in October.
The closure of the Transition House was a difficult decision. Rent, utilities, operating costs, and staffing 24/7 required over $300,000 per year. There was no question that it was important and valued service, but the reality was that Bruce House could not afford to continue operating the Transition House Program. Closing it allowed Bruce House to continue supporting clients through the Supported Independent Living Program (up to 40 households in rent-geared-to-income apartments), the Rehabilitation and Episodic Supportive Transition Program (REST), and the Volunteer Program.
A clear list of priorities for the organization has been established, including:
- financial recovery and sustainability
- updating the current budget to March 2018
- re-building the Board of Directors after several departures
- establishing a balanced budget for 2018-19
- searching for an Interim Executive Director
- staff succession planning
- program evaluation
- strengthening partnerships
- increased engagement with clients
The Board, staff, volunteers, and clients of Bruce House are tremendously grateful for the understanding and generosity of our community through these tough times. This ongoing work will ensure a secure future for organization.