Posted Tuesday November 20, 2018


Community contributions recognized on National Housing Day

An elementary school, a war veteran, and the Regional Chair were among those recognized today for their work to support people who are homeless and help find homes for all.

Ken Seiling was awarded by Housing Services for his advocacy and support for affordable and supportive housing across Waterloo Region over his term in office.

“Waterloo Region as a whole has benefited from Ken’s leadership and our successes today are largely due to his contributions,” said Deb Schlichter, Director of Housing Services.

The awards were handed out at this year’s National Housing Day event held at the Centre for International Governance and Innovation in Waterloo.

With the community’s help, the Region has supported 803 individuals, couples and families to meet their housing needs, surpassing the 2014 – 2019 Affordable Housing Strategy goal of 700.

Two community-led groups also launched a campaign at the event today to help more people get housed faster. ALL IN 2020, led by the Housing and Homelessness Umbrella Group (HHUG) and Wellbeing Waterloo Region will campaign to raise enough funds to help 258 people with the most complex needs and who have been homeless the longest, achieve housing stability.

Below is the full list of award recipients.

The Housing and Homelessness Umbrella Group (HHUG) award recipients are:

Suddaby Public School – Outstanding Community Leader

Suddaby provides education and support to children who are experiencing homelessness and whose families are accessing the YW Emergency Shelter.

William (Bill) Ridley – Colin Plant Outstanding Volunteer Housing Champion

As a cold war vet, Bill has supported 53 homeless veterans, spouses, widows and/or dependents in our Region.

Dr. Geoffrey Nelson – Outstanding Housing Educator

Dr. Nelson is the lead for a three-year research project on the expansion of Housing First in six Canadian communities.

House of Friendship Overflow Relief Team – Christine Wilson Outstanding Housing Community Worker

Last winter, this team provided temporary overflow shelter space for up to 50 people each night, leading to impactful conversations about how to best support some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

Supportive Housing of Waterloo (SHOW) – Sybil Frenette Outstanding Housing Creator

SHOW operates 30 affordable housing units with 24/7 support and is constructing another nine-unit building.

The YW Kitchener-Waterloo, oneROOF Youth Services, Ray of Hope and House of Friendship partnership award recipients are:

Shawn Addicott and Tyler Bickford – Kindred Spirit Awards

Tyler has been an exemplary volunteer, peer mentor, program participant, and staff member with the oneROOF Youth Services SEESAW program. Shawn is an emergency shelter resources worker at House of Friendship’s Charles Street Men’s Shelter and volunteers with Ray of Hope.

The Waterloo Region Immigration Partnership’s award recipients are:

Abhi Sankar – Newcomer Landlord Award

Abhi is a Kitchener property manager who has helped over 200 refugees find new homes in Waterloo Region.

Whitehall Apartments – Newcomer Landlord Award

Whitehall consistently takes in refugee families to their Kitchener location.

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