A 60-year-old Saanich man who died in a single-vehicle crash last month has left his house to the Victoria Cool-Aid Society, ensuring that, in death as in life, he will help the homeless.
Carl Graham Young was the passenger in a van that crashed into trees on Old West Saanich Road on March 21.
Young died at the scene and his dog, Turbo, was taken to a veterinary hospital and put down a few days later. Saanich police are investigating whether the driver was impaired at the time of the crash.
Young lived all his life in his parents’ modest bungalow at 3937 Grange Rd. He never married and never had kids. His parents, Edward and Diane, and his brother, Andrew, have died, leaving Young with the property.
About 18 months ago, Young approached staff at Cool-Aid and said he wanted to make the non-profit organization, which runs homeless shelters and low-income housing facilities, the sole beneficiary of his estate, said Alan Rycroft, the society’s spokesman.
“He was a simple man but obviously a very caring person. He asked that some of the proceeds in the estate also be used to help homeless pets,” Rycroft said.
“He loved his dog very much and he also wanted to make sure pets of the homeless are also looked after.”
In an obituary provided by a family friend to Rycroft, Young was described as an avid fan of the Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Blue Jays and car racing.
“Carl had an unusual memory for sports statistics and birth dates,” the obituary says.
“He could be found many times a day walking his dog Turbo in the Marigold area while socializing with his neighbours.”
The obituary says instead of a service, his friends will hold a barbecue to celebrate his life.
Donations in his name can be made to Cool-Aid or the SPCA.
At the time of his death, Young was on a disability pension.
“Carl had a heart of gold and his door was always open to those who needed a safe haven … coffee or a meal,” his friend wrote.
There were two trailers sitting in the side yard of the home and Young would often let friends who were at risk of being homeless stay there, which at times caused problems with neighbours in the quiet residential area.
“He hung out with a group of people who could well be Cool-Aid clients,” Rycroft said, adding that he spoke with one man who lived in the trailer.
“[Young] did help out people who he knew were in dire circumstances.”
No one is currently living on the property and Cool-Aid staff have cleared out the house.
It is assessed at $392,100, according to B.C. Assessment records. There is a small mortgage outstanding, but Rycroft said after the probate process is completed and the property is sold, Cool-Aid will likely receive a six-figure donation.
The property is not large enough to build a low-income residential facility, so the cash will go toward funding housing for the homeless and supporting their pets.
“Even though he didn’t have very much, he is going to make a difference,” Rycroft said. “One of the lessons Carl can teach us all is that we all have something to give.”