VHES – Providing Temporary Dignified Affordable Housing for Nearly 25 Years…..

Anyone can become homeless/ unemployed overnight these days. Without an address and a phone number, people cannot begin to seek employment.

The Society rents houses from sympathetic landlords and welcomes poverty-afflicted persons who live at these houses until they solve the challenges facing them and move on to permanent housing. We are particularly concerned with persons in recovery from substance misuse persons with mental illness who have medication and support; and persons seeking re-integration with estranged families.

NOTE: Persons applying to live in these Houses who have a history of
drug/alcohol misuse, must have at least three months clean and sober.

Persons living with mental illness should be taking their meds and be able
to live peacefully with others.

These Houses supply temporary housing only and do not come under the RTA.

Victoria Human Exchange Society on Shaw TV

A person becomes homeless because of:

Unemployment or Underemployment

Inability to Pay Rent
Lack of Affordable Decent Rental Housing
Alcohol and Substance Misuse
Family Violence
Mental Illness / Illness/
Lack of Family Support System

We currently facilitate six houses:

In Victoria: Charlie Pyott House,  the Fr.Michael J. McGivney House
On Saltspring Island: Grandma’s House
In Sidney Frances Thibeau House and Judy Thomas House
In Nanaimo Mary Gordon House

The VHES is a completely volunteer non-profit Society and NOT an agency (which has paid staff and volunteers).

As we near the end of our second decade of providing housing, we require more people to share gifts of many skills and labours.

Please refer to the list of services and skills that are needed. If you wish to be part of the Human Exchange, download the Volunteer Application Form.

Thank you for your willingness to consider taking part in ” the exchange of life’s gifts”.

Download Volunteer Application. (doc) (pdf)


To donate to the Victoria Human Exchange Society, click here.

Donate Now Through CanadaHelps.org!


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The world – our world of friendship – is represented by the apple, which symbolized the early experiences of exchanging life’s gifts “under the apple tree” (the Johnson Street Bridge), and at our first “Apple Seed House”. Art Rosette believed that a seed was planted then, which would grow and give shelter to many more who otherwise might only have a tree under a bridge. Our hope is that the spirit of the Human Exchange will spread throughout the world!