Friday October 30, 2020

As chief and medical director of the mental health and addictions program at Peterborough Regional Health Centre from 2015 to 2020, Kayhan Ghatavi has experience working with some of our community’s most vulnerable residents.

“In my experience, the majority of our most challenging mental health and addictions patients lacked adequate housing,” says Kayhan. “Without safe and stable housing it is almost impossible to achieve stable mental and physical health.”

Kayhan’s wife, Sally Harvie, was inspired to learn more about housing issues when her family attended a local film festival. A portion of ticket sales supported the YES Shelter for Youth and Families. After the film was over, a representative spoke about how YES works to reduce and prevent homelessness by providing shelter, education and transitional supports for youth and families in Peterborough and the Kawarthas.

Working full-time with busy lives and two kids of their own, the importance of a stable home life is not lost on Sally and Kayhan.

Affordable Housing is an Income Issue

According to Housing is Fundamental: A Report to the Peterborough Community (2020), “Housing is always an income issue. As incomes for many people either stagnate or fail to keep pace with inflating housing costs, inequality grows,” write the authors.

“Adequate basic income, and shelter, are essential components of a person’s health. Enough money and a safe secure place to live enhance one’s ability to stay healthy. They are key social determinants of health for individuals and a community.”

It was for these reasons that Sally and Kayhan established the Harvie Ghatavi Fund for Housing Security at the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough.

With a long-term view of community and insight into the challenges and opportunities facing Peterborough, the Foundation has the partnerships and staying power needed to address complex issues like housing and homelessness.

This made the Foundation an obvious choice for Kayhan and Sally when their financial advisor mentioned the advantages of donating appreciated securities during a year-end tax planning discussion. The fund was established immediately and, since then, the Foundation has helped Sally and Kayhan to identify local charitable programs and services that align with their interests and values.

Setting up your own charitable fund at the Community Foundation gives you all the flexibility and involvement of a private foundation while relieving you of the “back office” costs and responsibilities. The Community Foundation encourages anyone with an interest in establishing their own charitable fund to speak with Foundation staff.