This November 20th, on National Housing Day, the Region came together virtually to celebrate local housing achievements, share tributes to those with lived homelessness experience, and honour Executive Director of ALL IN 2020 and HHUG Lynn Macaulay who passed away earlier this year.
We are proud to announce that Lutherwood staff members were the recipients of three National Housing Day Awards.
Suad Yassin won the first-ever Lynn Macaulay Outstanding Housing Educator Award. For several years, Suad worked closely with Lynn behind the scenes, helping with trainings, community events, social media campaigns, and website design. In Lynn's absence, Suad stepped up to continue Lynn’s mission with a similar passion and drive, and is now continuing Lynn’s important work.
Lynn would be so pleased to see Suad receive this award and carry on the “Housing Hero” torch.
The Kindred Spirit Award honours someone who has experienced homelessness and is using what they learned to help their peers. Lutherwood’s Housing Support Coach Leslie Ciampaglia is this year’s recipient.
Leslie is a housing champion who gives what is needed of herself and often more. She takes the special bond shared by those who have traversed the difficult paths of homelessness and uses it to come full circle and help others find housing stability in her role at Lutherwood.
You can read more about Leslie and her story in our InSight Newsletter article Bringing Life Full Circle.
Congratulations to Lutherwood’s Families In Transition (FIT) team for receiving the Sybil Frenette Outstanding Housing Creator Award today. Our FIT Team, consisting of Edwina Toope, Lori Williams, Nicole Gow and Kaitlyn Medcalf are visionary and creative problem-solvers.
Not only did they work to end chronic homelessness for families in Waterloo Region, but this year, during a pandemic, 382 families accessed their services, with 85% of those families diverted from the emergency shelter system and never experiencing homelessness.
"My life has been completely turned around since finding Lutherwood. They have given me so much more than a safe place to stay. A lot of people pulled together to help me, and I am so grateful."