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Fred Lee dishes on the latest social happenings in and around Vancouver, including our 10th Annual Mission Possible Gala.


MISSION’S WORK: Mission Possible is a non-profit organization and social enterprise located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Since 1992, Mission Possible has supported individuals challenged by homelessness, poverty, addiction, and other barriers to employment. Through its employment readiness program and social enterprises, the firm is transforming lives by helping people experience a sense of dignity and purpose through meaningful work.

One such person was Janet Keitlah who came to Mission Possible searching for employment support. A member of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations on Vancouver Island, Keitlah found herself living in the city’s poorest area. She came to the East Hastings office feeling unemployable,; too old to re-enter the workforce. Depressed with very little confidence, Keitlah credits Mission Possible for her turnaround.

With the organization’s help, she was hired as a dishwasher. That job would turn into a cooking position preparing breakfast and lunch for hundreds of people. After two years, Keitlah faced a new challenge, a new opportunity working with Regional Recycling. Admitting the first few weeks were incredibly hard — she cried many times at night questioning whether she could do it — Keitlah focused on what she learned during her time at Mission Possible, and found the courage and confidence to succeed.

“I am employable and that has changed everything for me,” shared Keitlah, speaking at Mission Possible’s annual gala, with her proud son and employer in the front row.

Keitlah along with fellow alumni Christina Traxler, Loretta Wielgosh and Michael Fraser were feted at Mission Possible’s annual fundraiser and awards ceremony. Recipient of the Momentum Award for her incredible strength and tenacity to succeed, Keitlah received the award from Mission Possible CEO Matthew Smedley.

Hosted by radio personalities Nat Hunter and Drew Savage, more than 300 guests convened for the tenth annual dinner and auction — a masquerade themed affair — at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Together, attendees and sponsors helped unmask $190,000 for Mission Possible to continue its important work in one of the country’s poorest and most challenging neighbourhoods.

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