Capital Campaign

Moving First Forward

Demand for our services has outgrown our space at 320 East Hastings. And the space itself is falling into disrepair. To respond to the direct and growing needs of our community, we need your help.
DONATE NOW

We’re redeveloping our site into an 11-storey building purpose-built to suit the needs and interests of the community. The first four floors, operated by FIRST, will provide safe and inclusive community amenities with three times more space for our low-barrier services and programming. The seven floors above will offer safe, secure homes for Indigenous peoples operated by the Lu’ma Native Housing Society. Regardless of circumstance, all people deserve the dignity and care that a safe, purpose-built space can provide.

 

Revitalizing the corner of Hastings and Gore is a community-informed neighbourhood rejuvenation that centres reconciliation and healing. We cannot do this important work without you.

Will you join us to move First Forward?

First Forward Campaign

GOAL
$30 million

Secured Funds: $22 million

Funds to Raise: $8 million

Secured Funds

Funds to Raise

Donate Cash

If you would like to make your gift by cheque, please make your cheque(s) payable to First United and write “First Forward” in the memo. Print and mail this form along with your cheques to:

First United
320 East Hastings Street,
Vancouver, BC, V6A 1P4

To pay by credit card or bank transfer, please complete the form and submit it either by printing and mailing it to the address above or sending it electronically to firstforward@firstunited.ca.

Please include a void cheque (paper or digital) for bank transfers.

Donate by E-Transfer

For gifts of $3,000 or less, you can e-transfer. Add First United as a recipient and send your e-transfer to:

firstforward@firstunited.ca

• In the “memo” field, please indicate that your e-transfer is a donation to First Forward
• Use the following as your security question:

Question: What is the purpose of this transaction?
Answer: redevelopment

Send us an email at firstforward@firstunited.ca letting us know that you’ve made a donation by e-transfer and include your full name and address so we can issue your charitable tax receipt. For gifts of more than $3,000, please send a wire transfer.

Donate by Wire Transfer

Need to make a bank transfer for an amount larger than $3,000? No problem. Email firstforward@firstunited.ca and we’ll send you the information you need to complete a wire transfer.

Donate by Phone

If you would like to make a donation by phone using a credit card, our campaign team is happy to help. Give us a call at 604.335.9339.

Donate Online

Donating online with a credit card or direct debit is easy! Go to our First Forward donation page to make a one-time gift or pledge.

Donate Securities

Make a Planned Gift

Whether it’s a gift of charitable annuities or a future contribution through a bequest, our campaign team can help. Give us a call at 604.335.9319.

Donations are tax deductible, and we welcome one-time donations or pledged gifts over a period of up to five years.

Download our gift agreement and pledge form.

For information about corporate giving opportunities or our recognition program for gifts over $10,000, please contact us.

Why We Give

When we found FIRST UNITED, it was an absolute blessing. Without their help, I don’t know if we’d still be here. If you can see it in your heart to give, you should know that your help could change someone’s life. I know it changed mine.”

—Angelo, FIRST UNITED Community Member

Campaign Milestones

Enthusiastic support from both the public and private sectors has propelled First Forward. Check out some of our pivotal achievements.

Early

2020


FIRST receives pledge of a $10M leadership gift to kick-start the redevelopment project.

February

2021


The First Forward Cabinet is formed, and the fundraising campaign begins its quiet phase.

May

2021


United Church congregation St. Andrew’s-Wesley commits $1M to move First Forward.

June

2021


Wheaton Precious Metals makes a $1M corporate contribution to First Forward.

Reconciliation in Action

Safe, Secure Housing

We are excited to be partnering with Lu’ma Native Housing Society on this project to enable the development of over 100 below-market housing units for indigenous peoples in the DTES. Our facilities, meal program, and support services will be available and accessible to residents of the Lu’ma housing project as part of their tenancy.

A Welcoming Environment

To make the new FIRST safe and welcoming, and to honour the indigenous and spiritual roots of the land our building occupies, we’ve incorporated indigenous art and cultural elements into the design of the building in a respectful and appropriate way informed by direct consultation and input from Luugigyoo Dr. Patrick Stewart, Nisga’a architect, and Xalek/Sekyu Siyam Chief Ian Campbell. The building’s Sacred Space and outdoor gathering area will be interfaith spaces suitable for traditional indigenous ceremonies.

Naming Policy

All spaces in the building will be named after indigenous and spiritual roots of the land and indigenous leaders rather than after donors, who instead have the option of offering a dedication to these spaces—this is one of the most progressive naming policies undertaken in Vancouver that puts reconciliation front and centre in the fundraising and philanthropic space.

Latest news

First Forward Building Connections Campaign

Date 22 Nov, 2021

Category Blog, First Forward

“When you’re out on the streets, you know … it’s cold. Wet. You’re dirty. You wander the streets day and night just to try to stay warm. You feel like you’re useless. You’re worthless.” That’s what Angelo, a member of our community, said when he reflected on the three years that he, his wife Sandy, […]

Fall Newsletter, Redevelopment Updates and Food First

Date 16 Nov, 2021

Category Blog, First Forward, Redevelopment

Sharing exciting updates on what’s next for FIRST! Check out our latest newsletter on our redevelopment plans and our brand new food truck. Don’t forget to sign up for upcoming Toast Talks! Click to view newsletter in new tab

First United to get a huge makeover

Date 6 Nov, 2020

Category First Forward, Redevelopment

Jen St Denis from The Tyee covers our plans to redevelop our building at 320 East Hastings Street in her article “First United Church, a Downtown Eastside Institution, to Get a Huge Makeover”. “Today, First United’s programs range from a meal program, medical care, tax filing services, help accessing and appealing government benefits, legal help […]

First Forward Capital Campaign Cabinet

We’re grateful for the dedication and support of our First Forward Cabinet members, who are as committed as we are to moving FIRST into its new home in 2024.

Rev. Cari Copeman-Haynes, Co-Chair

Rudy Kerklaan, Co-Chair

Mike Harcourt, Honorary Chair

Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne, Executive Director

Amanda Burrows, Campaign Director

Dr. Heather Clarke

Don Evans

Jim Fletcher

Mark Paetkau

Randy Smallwood

Rev. Nancy Talbot

Nancy Trott

Community Endorsements

Congratulations to FIRST UNITED and Lu’ma Native Housing Society for successfully working together to bring new affordable and inclusive supportive housing to East Vancouver. I know the whole neighbourhood will benefit from this supportive space for people to live in community

—Niki Sharma, MLA Vancouver-Hastings, Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-Profits, B.C.

Thank you for supporting First Forward!

Our corporate donors, media, and in-kind sponsors

Our Contributors

We’re grateful for the generous contributions of individuals, organizations, and foundations to this project. Thank you for helping us to move First Forward!

Join us to move First Forward.

You can’t put a price on dignity. But you can help us build a space that embodies it.