GoFundMe launched to keep Guelph poverty group operational

2017 may be a financial challenge for the Out of Poverty Society, but a GoFundMe campaign hopes to raise enough money to keep the program running out of 40 Baker Street in Guelph.

Campaign hopes to raise $60,000 by the end of February.

A GoFundMe campaign wants to raise $60,000 by the end of February to keep the Out of Poverty Society running out of 40 Baker Street in Guelph. (Google Street View)

A GoFundMe campaign hopes to raise $60,000 by the end of February keep the non-profit organization Out of Poverty Society operating at 40 Baker Street in Guelph.

The organization ran into trouble after Chalmers Community Services Centre, who currently shares space at 40 Baker Street, is moving out - leaving it to cover additional finances.

The Out of Poverty Society runs support programs like Fresh Start Housing Centre, Baker Street Art Gallery and the Our Place Supper Club for the homeless and those living under the poverty line.

Programs may be lost

"We thought if we don't step up in the community and make some sort of effort, they may lose some of their programs or have to move," said Heather Johnston, one of the 10 trustees in charge of the campaign to keep the much needed program running.

Edward Pickersgill, coordinator of Out of Poverty Society, wrote on the GoFundMe campaign page: "Some of our close friends and regular supporters have stepped forward to start up a crowd funding initiative to save our services in these challenging times."

He added that Out of Poverty Society is not running the campaign but is endorsing it.

'We are not going to give up'

If successful, the $60,000 would be distributed by the trustees to Out of Poverty Society monthly, which would  cover the costs of rent, food and help run the programs.

If not, they may have to move into a smaller facility or lose some of their programs.

"We are not going to give up," Johnston said. "We are spewing ideas all over the place to get donations."

The next step she adds, would be for the trustees to meet and brainstorm ideas to further involve the community in the campaign.